Are the Star Wars prequels really that unpopular?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by TalkieToaster, May 11, 2014.

  1. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    IIRC the story behind that is that Fisher had already spent some time over here either going to school or stage work (I forget exactly) and had picked up a bit of an accent, which took her a while to shake during filming.
     
  2. Rarewolf

    Rarewolf Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think the fact The Clone Wars series was so popular didn't hurt either. Even without the Disney deal it kept the toys on the sale 7 years after Sith, 7 years after Jedi what was there?
     
  3. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Commodore Commodore

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    The prequels, especially TPM & AOTC seem to have been written rather hurridly and without much passion or interest, for having had almost 20 years to think it over and come out with it.

    ROTS seemed to be mildly improved, if only in response to fan criticisms. The acting AND writing continue to be attrocious. Annie's Dark Side conversion in the name of Love was absurd and his lack of hesitation in killing "Yuenglings" made no sense. But the absolute worst has to be everything on Mustafar (sp.?) - everything from Annie's arrival to his getting torched was so corny! The long-awaited sabre fight was boring, it went on for so long. Some of it even looked stupid. Everything that came out of Annie's mouth was just arbitrary nonsense. And the convenience of Vader's famous outfit apparently being ready for use, and - seemingly - right off the shelf gave me the impression that there must be others using it, besides Annie.

    The only STAR WARS movie that I find unwatchable is ATTACK of the CLONES. Even the payoff of pinball Yoda demonstrates what a joke this movie is. When I want "background noise" if I'm cleaning up the place, or painting, I'll put on the French soundtrack to this movie. In fact, my recollections of this movie are usually such that I forget that the actors actually speak American. What's worse is that I'm much more interested in what's being shown in the background, anyway, than the "story" I'm presented with. I never bought Hayden as Annie, but you know ... I watch all the STAR WARS movies arbitrarily, occassionally. And to be honest, this entire saga kind of sucks, really ... but I still have a soft spot for it.
     
  4. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    :rofl: Good one.

    It speaks to the ubiquity of the Star Wars brand, which isn't quite the same thing.

    What speaks to the "popularity" of the prequels is the performance of the Clone Wars film that followed them. (We all remember that film, right? Where were you when?) It's a good job the cartoon it was meant to launch eventually acquired a decent reputation, or Lucas would basically have gone down in history as having managed to sink the proverbial Titanic of SF franchises.
     
  5. Set Harth

    Set Harth Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Of course, these possibilities are not mutually exclusive.

    There's a bandwagon effect. I know someone who paid to see TPM nine times in the theater. Nowadays, if the prequel trilogy is brought up in any context whatsoever, within about a nanosecond this guy is slamming them in sneering mockery. It's like, who pays to see a film they hate nine times over? Surely after the first two or three times at most you would stop coming back?

    This was the occasion of another hilarious historical about-face ( not unlike the case of the integrity-challenged movie reviewers who recanted their initially positive prequel reviews when they noticed which way the wind was blowing ). After initially damning TCW, the hate machine figured out at some point that TCW could fit into its "anything is better than the prequels" mentality and started insisting that the cartoon, which they originally hated, was giving them what they had wanted from the prequels. The dissonance was glorious. People always know what to do when they've found their witch.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2014
  6. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The... "hate machine"? :confused:

    Is it a pretty hate machine?

    Because I remember the entertainment media, pretty and not, doing pretty much everything it could to boost the prequels. Like so.

    Damn. Poor sucker.

    I... uh... "found their witch"? I've missed out on a reference-worthy Pop Culture Moment here, it would seem... :p
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2014
  7. Ancient Mariner

    Ancient Mariner Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Which is why I didn't say, "Star Wars remains a point of discussion." The amount of time and energy spent still discussing the quality and popularity (or lack thereof for each), the plot and characters, and impact of the prequels themselves is certainly indicative of their popularity.

    The Clone Wars helped, certainly. And yes, yes I do remember exactly where I was when I watched the movie. :p

    But honestly, aside from the Anakin-Ahsoka banter (Sky Guy? Really? :lol:), and the Padme subplot, it's not nearly as bad as it's made out to be, either.

    I've got that beat ... twice over. :lol:
     
  8. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    You can not blame Hayden or Natalie for George's poor directing. He literally told people to stand in a certain spot, say their lines and that was it. When asked about context or background for why they felt a certain way, George would simply say, just say the lines.
    Acting is a job, period. We glorify these people and think of them as gods, but are mere mortals who need a paycheck. And ultimatly, an actor depends on the director to direct them. If that doesn't happen, they can't do anything. As someone who has done a few years at a theaterschool, I kinda know how it works.

    Blame George, because he is a visual storyteller. He tells stories through images, not dialogue. It's his thing. That's why Star Wars movies directed by George look good, but suffer from badly deliverd dialogue, since actors had no clue what the feelings behind the dialogue was.
    Honoustly, of the OT, A New Hope was the worst when it comes to acting.
     
  9. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    I wonder if that had something to do with the green screen filming process? People have to move during action scenes but if there's more work involved it might explain why people were standing around hardly moving during dialogue heavy scenes.
     
  10. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    No. It illustrates the ubiquity of the brand: the Star Wars brand had enough goodwill while the prequels were rolling out that people kept going to see them -- and the media kept gamely trying to talk them up, Set Harth's beliefs about a "hate machine" notwithstanding -- in the hopes that they would improve, and no matter how clear it got that they were poor movies. The brand was popular, it was part of the pop culture conversation and people engaged with it simply to be relevant. The prequel movies lived largely on its accumulated goodwill and the gullibility of small children.

    By the time the Clone Wars movie came out, that goodwill was spent. And unsurprisingly it tanked, hard.
     
  11. Set Harth

    Set Harth Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, I wasn't thinking of professionals there. But as far as the entertainment media is concerned, look at where they stand these days.
     
  12. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    I suppose that is very possible. Would make sense.
     
  13. Ancient Mariner

    Ancient Mariner Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Much of what you say did happen, but it's much too simple of a narrative. It ignores that there were a lot of genuine - not just gullible - fans of the movies at the time, and it ignores the fact that the movies themselves are routinely discussed, and not just within the context of a ubiquitous Star Wars brand, even now. It's a bit disingenuous to suggest that the prequels' popularity was largely because of "gullible children" falling for the machinations of "the media" ... or some vague notion of "goodwill" that made most of the rest of the viewers repeatedly stamp into the theaters, despite feeling let down.
     
  14. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's not what I said, but the "gullible children" remark shouldn't be left just lying there. What I mean is that the profit model of the prequels was to market to children primarily -- and children, not knowing any better, are generally easily pleased by sumptuous feasts of CGI effects -- the better to leverage their parents' money. AFAICT that's a major reason why the prequels were as profitable as they were.

    Well, that and:

    Goodwill doesn't seem like any sort of "vague notion" to me. It directly describes the behaviour, and the dogged loyalty, of a great many fans throughout all three films. The husbanding -- and gradual dwindling -- of that goodwill is a narrative you can hear from a great many of the same fans who wound up staying away from TCW in the theatres.

    Yes, of course any brief post on the story will of necessity simplify it. There are other things at work, too. But those two things are pretty important dynamics, I think.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2014
  15. Ancient Mariner

    Ancient Mariner Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I would agree that those are two major dynamics. But I'd say there was a third major dynamic - that the prequels were, in fact, enjoyed by plenty of viewers with disposable income, which enjoyed going to see the films, discussing them, and so on. That's a narrative I've also heard (for whatever these hearsay narratives we've both mentioned are worth :lol:).

    Clearly, though, we disagree on just how much impact each of these dynamics had on the prequels' popularity. :p

    On the specific topic of the Clone Wars movie, I've no doubt that there was fatigue from the vast majority of viewers, including a "hangover" effect from the prequels (from which, I further agree, many did not recover). The fact that it was a CGI film (and at the time, an awkward-looking one, based on the character models), were also reasons why it made such a small noise at the box office.

    But even then, prequel discussions were ongoing. They've continued to this day. Yes, those discussions have been aided by the television series and the overall brand. But we're still having in depth conversations about them - far more so than, say, Lord of the Rings (which was highly regarded) or Transformers (which was arguably less well-regarded) - two franchises with recognizable brands that have also been producing content. YMMV, of course.
     
  16. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think they are. They do suffer from the fact that they could never live up to the original trilogy. People love to hate them. I believe they sold very well on Blu-ray and I doubt it was children buying them.
     
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  17. suarezguy

    suarezguy Commodore Commodore

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    Jar-Jar Binks and the Anakin/Padme romance are pretty widely derided but otherwise I think most people think the films are OK-to-good, agreeing with a lot of critics that the acting and plots were wooden but alright enough and the effects were great, making up for some of the flaws of the former.
    I think a lot of reaction involves expectations-at least most of the people who really hate the prequels do so because they were expecting them to be some of the best Sci-Fi ever while most others thought they were still OK or good even though not as good or great as the OT.
     
  18. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    In my experience, kids who grew up on the Prequels love them and don't like the OT. It's people who saw the Prequels as adults that generally don't like them. Me, I love 'em but I totally agree with every complaint leveled against them. But it's still Star Wars.
     
  19. TV's Frank

    TV's Frank Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm an old-school STAR WARS fan who saw the original in theaters back in 1977 and I love the prequels. In fact, once the new trilogy wrapped up in 2005, not only did EPISODE III jump near to the top spot on my favorite SW film list, but that entire time period within which the movies occurred became a favorite. I delved into that era through the various novels, comic books and of course, the "making of" and "art of" books for the films and CLONE WARS series. I connected with the brilliant parallel story arc, both micro (Anakin's) and marco (the Republic), of how something decent is corrupted from the inside out. I also wound up connecting to aspects of Anakin's character, his loss of parents leading to an inability to accept that loss is a sad fact of of life and his subsequent need to control this. I loved Ewan McGregor's portrayal of Obi-wan and pretty everything he does in the movies. Plus, I loved the locations, the political side of the series and the action sequences.

    Entertainment can be a strange thing, since it's success or failure is often matter of perception and what we each bring to the table. You and I can sit down and watch the same movie. I love it and you hate it, but the movie is exactly the same. Does that make the movie a success or failure? The answer is both, but it's all determined by the unique experiences you and I each bring to the movie. Who we are at this point and what has happened to us in life will absolutely color how we react or connect to a film. I have had experiences in my life that actually helped me connect to Anakin. His is a character who's story arc can be quite different from Luke's, with a unique set of circumstances different than just being a kid who wants to escape home and run off on adventures. I happened to find the mythological, philosophical and political aspects of the prequels engaging, but that won't be true for every fan. However, the problem is that those fans feel somehow betrayed and angry by this and decide to take out their anger on the movies in weird ways. I've never understood why you would get angry at a movie that you didn't connect with. I mean, so what? You move onto the next movie and celebrate what you like, but if you didn't connect with a specific movie, why keep attacking it years later?

    It's not required that we all like the same entertainment, but what bothers me is the unbridled bashing and outright bullying that occurs in our fan community centered around the STAR WARS prequels. It's as if I befriend a guy who insulted your mother and you're boiling made about it. In the years since 1999, if you're a fan who states being a fan of the prequels, you immediately become a target for the segment of fandom who have become bullies, essentially. It's unwarranted and uncalled for behavior and it doesn't seem to occur within other fan communities other than STAR WARS.
     
  20. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Speak for yourself. I've stated my preference for the prequels (and the Special Editions of the originals) many times, and I've never endured any bullying due to that. :shrug:

    The PT is not "Unpopular" by any objective definition. It's unpopular with some fans, but very popular with others. There's more than enough fans to go around, it would seem.
     

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