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  1. #11
    You've missed quite a few canon films from that list, Supes?

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Dogg Thang View Post
    And unlike Marvel, where the individual movies seem to add and strengthen, too much Star Wars seems to have a diluting and weakening effect.
    I wonder if part of this is how Marvel's movies draw upon a rich universe of pre-existing media - which, through the way comics constantly renew themselves, are kinda forced to improve over time (in a sink-or-swim kinda way). Like Iron Man isn't an adaptation of any specific version of Iron Man in the comics, but it can pick-and-choose from what they perceived to be the best parts and blend that with new stuff.

    Whereas in Star Wars, they already had that, but they kinda threw it away and started from scratch. Sure, some elements of what came before have leaked back in, but no-one would pretend that the film-makers have really placed much stock on the EU stuff.

  3. #13
    Yes, I think that’s a big part of it. So much there to draw on. I also think the nature of the film releases played a part. By beginning with individual stories, the Marvel movies gave focus to specific characters first and set up a precedent to continue that, expanding as they need to. The Star Wars films felt like they were telling one story and so it’s harder to avoid other stories feeling extraneous. There is no real main story in the Marvel movies even with the connecting threads but there is with Star Wars, or at least there was.

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Asura View Post
    I still remember seeing [I]Episode 1[
    I didn't even go see Solo. I probably won't go see Episode IX until after I hear reviews.

    Conversely, I'm going to be waiting in line to see the premiere of Avengers 4. Make of that what you will.
    I think that means The Avengers are for you what Star Wars was for ardent fans back in the late 70s/early 80s. I'll also be wanting to see the next Avengers film ASAP as they've had a very strong run so far and imho this next one will hopefully cap off a great era for the series (I told myself I'll take a break from comic book films after next year's entry but chances are I'll just end up dialing it back a little).

    Writing this makes me wish that DC would bring it. They seem to have Wonder Woman down and Aquaman might be decent? It still surprises me that Superman and Batman went from Man of Steel and The Dark Knight to what we got in Justice League though. Those films show that the characters can be portrayed greatly. Let's get back to that sometime rather than Batman fangirling over Superman coming to save the day (an odd contrast to his Superman-ending and dour mindset in Batman vs Superman).

  5. #15
    DC needs to give up on the Avengers model, they've been fixated since the credits closed on MoS on racing to that Avengers scale money and the films are all over the place. BvS itself was way too early to have as much going on in it as it did. I suppose in reverse the MCU and Avengers works brilliantly but if the only films you saw where the Avengers trilogy it'd come across as likely being incoherently awful because the trilogy doesn't relate to each instalment.

    Star Wars is trying to pull off the MCU in reverse. In a way, they chose the lazy option, every spin-off released or abandoned leans hard on the old films which are already serviced for nostalgia by the new trilogy. They should have just done something like a Knights of the Old Republic series of films, similar but completely disassociated from the existing plot and free to take whatever turns they want.

  6. #16
    Three years on and the Star Wars franchise is now in a different place than it was a couple of years ago with its big screen ambitions largely dashed across the rocks and its TV based debut proving highly popular and where the franchise is now expanding in a manner that was once suggested as Star Trek's strength over the IP. We're now marching toward May the Fourth with several series projects and one stand alone film confirmed on the horizon and as we changed the way Canon-Strikes were run some time after this it seemed time to go back and follow the franchises canon in narrative order now that the dust has settled from Disney's first wave of cinematic adventures.

    Movie 01 - Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

    One thing that can never be taken away from this film and its two follow ups is that they were made so long after the original trilogy. As such they will forever look somewhat out of place and they introduce some awkward narrative additions, none as controversial as the midichlorians and the heavy handed virgin birth of Anakin. With the whole franchise now sitting closer to being the chronicles of Palpatin than it is the Skywalkers and the prequel not being as prominent in Disney's efforts as their own and the original entries are there's arguably a greater sense of uniqueness to entries like this one, part of the arc yet in a way its the closest to something that isn't a nostalgia trip the franchise currently has.

    Looking back what are the things Phantom Menace gets right, what things remain wrong about it and is it at the end of it all a worthwhile part of the franchise?

  7. #17
    First up, the positives. Some of the design in this movie is incredible. Maul's design is enough to carry the entire character - he's feral and it works largely because of how he looks. Also John Williams totally knocked it out of the park. His work in the prequels is superb.

    But the movie is an unholy mess. The main characters are weak and wooden, the dialogue is poor, the tone is all over the shop (fart jokes/political trade and taxation disputes - who the hell is this movie for? Shrek fans with a degree in politics?), and it has very little story to speak of. It's a mess. Jar-Jar got a huge amount of backlash in the day and, to be fair, it's because he's horrendous. But it's for kids? I don't know - it's a trade and taxation dispute movie.

  8. #18
    The opening 10/15 minutes, before they meet jarjar is actually quite good. Then it seems to venture into some kind of dreamscape 'never ending story' bull****.

  9. #19
    We actually watched this recently (we've been working our way through all 9 movies on while tidying up etc. on weekends thanks to Disney+), and there's something in comparing how the two follow-up trilogies (1-3 and 7-9) have worked out.

    The prequel trilogy has problems, and it would be revisionist to suggest otherwise; some of them have become even more obvious in the intervening decades. However, what's instructive about these is that the prequel trilogy, for all its flaws, is more of a singular vision (and suffers for it) whereas the sequel trilogy is formed up of multiple peoples' visions.

    It's also worth saying here that the version on Disney+ is a not-advertised director's cut; it's slightly longer, restoring (mainly) the middle lap of the Pod Race scene, which in the cinematic version is heavily cut down (some of that footage was also used for the intro sequence of the videogame Episode 1: Racer).

    I have strong memories of seeing The Phantom Menace in cinemas as a teenager, and I'm happy to admit on first-watch, I absolutely loved it. I mean I still disliked Jar-jar and some of Anakin's dialogue was cringeworthy but I still really enjoyed it end-to-end. That moment where Darth Maul appears with the two-bladed lightsaber, and the music... I was a huge Star Wars fan, well into the Expanded Universe etc., and I really loved it.

    Also, someone bought me the soundtrack on CD for a gift before seeing it (a distant relative) and the final track is called The funeral of Quigon Jin, which was something of a spoiler.

    On rewatch as a more discerning adult, I saw why people disliked it, but I certainly didn't have the Simon Pegg reaction to the first viewing.

    Visually, it's quite strong; certainly stronger than Attack of the Clones. Though I think the entire trilogy has a problem that if you watch them in order, there's a real visual jump between 3 and 4, and it's not that the movies are simply newer, because I felt that the new movies tackled this much better, especially Rogue One, and The Mandalorian also does a fantastic job of widening the universe whilst everything still looks like Star Wars.

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Dogg Thang View Post
    But it's for kids? I don't know - it's a trade and taxation dispute movie.
    Yeah; the trilogy presents this huge meta-story about how the galactic republic were the good guys, and then they became the bad guys through a political conspiracy, and The Phantom Menace is meant to show the low-key event that started the ball rolling.

    The problem is that I don't think it sticks the landing, because while there seems to be a lot of wasted run-time in The Phantom Menace, there's a lot of plot that kinda happens offscreen.

    Like in Episode 2, it explains that around the time of the events of Episode 1, there's a whole other plot going on between a Jedi, Sifo-Diyas, who arranges for the creation of the clone army, whilst engaging in a secret conflict with a sith named Darth Tyranus (who it turns out is actually Dooku). Similarly there are the actual Clone Wars which mostly occur off-screen, and instead we have a trade embargo about a random planet and the political struggles therein.

    Part of me feels that the movie's greatest mistake was making a planet's queen into a major character. Like, Leia is a princess in the original movies but as her home is destroyed right away, we never see her undertake in the gears of government.


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