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Old January 22 2010, 11:53 AM   #1
Gaith
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Brain poot: the PT shoulda been black-and-white

Why on Earth should the Star Wars prequels have been in black and white, you ask? Well, here's a few reasons...


1. The visuals/tech would have better blended with the OT. Even the most restrained modern filmmaker would have had a hard time not making the tech in the PT look more advanced than that of the OT. And GL is hardly that most restrained filmmaker. But the primitive aura of b&w could have helped keep the OT and its seventies haircuts looking fresh.

2. The ANH beginning would remain spectacular. A b&w trilogy would also preserve the "wow" moment of ANH's first shot. In-universe linear viewing would have shown ships and space battles up to that point, but never in color.

3. It could allow for more violence. GL obviously invented those hideously lame battle droids to avoid having the noble Jedi carving up living beings right and left. But if it'd all been b&w, that wouldn't have been nearly as gory or shocking. See: the b&w portion of the dojo fight in Kill Bill 1.

4. It would have been educational. Too many younguns these days turn their noses up at b&w. Heck, even I did back in the day. This would have compelled them to see and enjoy b&w films from an early age.

5. It could have encouraged more focus on story, dialogue, etc. How many hundreds of hours were spent on choosing the various colors of the trilogy? Hours that could have been used coming up with decent scripts. Less color-filled eye candy to show off could have forced GL to craft the best possible film, not special-effects showcase.

6. It would have been better suited to the dark tale generally. B&w film can have a nightmarish quality to it (Psycho, The White Ribbon, the dvd version of The Mist). Anakin's tragic fall to evil would have been well served by the format.


Sure, there would have been downsides. The art direction, (along with John Williams' work) is the only truly exceptional aspect of the trilogy, and much of its flavor (and thus merchandising potential) would have been lost in grayscale. (Padme's rainbow dress...) And while the PT we got hardly fits in visually with the OT, it would still have been odd for the universe to suddenly develop color halfway through. Finally, so long as we're dreaming, we could just say the PT should have had better stories, scripts, etc. and leave it at that.

Still, for the above reasons, I think a well-done PT might have been truly awesome. It would certainly have been a bold and thought-provoking move...
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Old January 22 2010, 01:32 PM   #2
Mr Light
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Re: Brain poot: the PT shoulda been black-and-white

I think taking away the colors would really have ruined the visual beauty of the PT.
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Old January 22 2010, 02:09 PM   #3
Forbin
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Re: Brain poot: the PT shoulda been black-and-white

I'm officially adding "brain poot" to my lexicon.
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Old January 22 2010, 02:32 PM   #4
Nardpuncher
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Re: Brain poot: the PT shoulda been black-and-white

What does brain poot mean?

If it means taking a crazy idea to fix something that had much much bigger problems then I guess I know.
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Old January 22 2010, 03:41 PM   #5
23skidoo
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Re: Brain poot: the PT shoulda been black-and-white

Mr Light wrote: View Post
I think taking away the colors would really have ruined the visual beauty of the PT.
And, frankly, that's all it had.

I will agree with Point #4 though. For the sake of the future preservation of decades of movies made in Black and White, we need to get more of the young generation to understand they deserve to be not only watched, but preserved. (I'm expecting the colorization debate to return soon, around the same time someone pushes for 3-D versions of Citizen Kane and Casablanca).

Alex
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Old January 22 2010, 05:18 PM   #6
sojourner
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Re: Brain poot: the PT shoulda been black-and-white

If it were black and white how would you tell the good lightsabres from the bad ones?
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Old January 22 2010, 05:23 PM   #7
O'Dib
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Re: Brain poot: the PT shoulda been black-and-white

Oooh, black, white and red!
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Old January 22 2010, 06:35 PM   #8
Forbin
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Re: Brain poot: the PT shoulda been black-and-white

O'Dib wrote: View Post
Oooh, black, white and red!
A nun slitting her wrists?
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Old January 22 2010, 08:52 PM   #9
137th Gebirg
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Re: Brain poot: the PT shoulda been black-and-white

O'Dib wrote: View Post
Oooh, black, white and red!
Sideous' List? Nah. Doesn't have the same ring to it.
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Old January 22 2010, 09:28 PM   #10
Gaith
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Re: Brain poot: the PT shoulda been black-and-white

sojourner wrote: View Post
If it were black and white how would you tell the good lightsabres from the bad ones?
The same way Gramps and Granny told the good swords from the bad ones in old swashbuckling movies!
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Old January 22 2010, 09:45 PM   #11
Kegg
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Re: Brain poot: the PT shoulda been black-and-white

Gaith wrote: View Post
3. It could allow for more violence.
Doubt it. Even in black and white ratings are ratings, no? The key to more violence is robots like the droids, which Lucas could brutally savagely cut to pieces and get away with even in his current cartoon.

5. It could have encouraged more focus on story, dialogue, etc. How many hundreds of hours were spent on choosing the various colors of the trilogy? Hours that could have been used coming up with decent scripts.
False dichotomy that. They had plenty of time to write good scripts, they just didn't. And lots of time would be needed for the visuals of a B&W film - it'd be eye-candy spectacle just as much in greyscale really.
The White Ribbon,
Seriously people go see The White Ribbon while you can. Git!

Still, for the above reasons, I think a well-done PT might have been truly awesome.
Well done, yes. Black and white? We can find the answer to that pretty much by watching the movies in greyscale. Sure they might have lit it differently to better suit black and white but I don't think any other changes necessarily would have happened (though now I'm tempted to watch the movies in black and white and see what I think, really.)

23skidoo wrote: View Post
Mr Light wrote: View Post
I think taking away the colors would really have ruined the visual beauty of the PT.
And, frankly, that's all it had.
Bingo.
(I'm expecting the colorization debate to return soon, around the same time someone pushes for 3-D versions of Citizen Kane and Casablanca).
Just bring back classic films that did use 3-D. Like Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder. Not the best example maybe because it's a converted stage play and this feels painfully obvious (not really Avatar spectacle) but I'd like to see it.
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Old January 22 2010, 09:48 PM   #12
Harvey
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Re: Brain poot: the PT shoulda been black-and-white

Tarantino got away with more violence (the film was re-rated R instead of NC-17) in Kill Bill Vol. 1 by converting a sequence from color into black and white. So there's actually some logic to that thought.
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Old January 22 2010, 09:49 PM   #13
Kegg
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Re: Brain poot: the PT shoulda been black-and-white

Oh. Well, colour me stupid, I had no idea about that.
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Old January 22 2010, 09:50 PM   #14
Harvey
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Re: Brain poot: the PT shoulda been black-and-white

Color the MPAA stupid, maybe. I have no idea why black and white is considered less violent than color. It makes about as much sense as, well, honestly, everything else the MPAA does...
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Old January 22 2010, 09:57 PM   #15
Kegg
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Re: Brain poot: the PT shoulda been black-and-white

Well, that's what I thought - any censorship system would be rigorously logical about the level of violence, whether you're black and white, sepia, technicolour, psychedelically shifting colours, or regular toned. Cartoons maybe might have more leinency but that's different. That's how I'd run it, which probably says more about me than anything else. I don't suppose black and white gets away with more nudity too? (Doubt that...)
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