Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Questionable Star Wars vol. 10

They were the Guardians of the Old Republic until a young Jedi named Walter hunted them all down and sent them into early retirement with extreme prejudice.

Question: "Who was your favorite Jedi other than Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan?"

Andrew's Answer: Struggling... struggling... struggling. You know, I liked old Yoda, but I really don’t like CGI Yoda. And the only other one you really got to know was Samuel L. Jackson. Think about that, three films about the Old Republic and you never really get to know any of the Jedi? Could this be part of the problem with the films? Anyway, I’m going with Old Yoda. Help me Liam Neeson, you're our only hope.

Scott's Answer: I'll just go ahead and say Mace Windu because, while I know a few names, I'm not really familiar with any of the other Jedi characters. Samuel L. Jackson is a great actor but one wonders what kind of performance he might've given if he had a different director. Honorable mention goes to Aayla Secura, mainly because she's hot. [smile] (She wasn't even played by an actress; Amy Allen was a production assistant at ILM who was in the right place at the right time!)

37 comments:

shawn said...

Ben Kenobi in Star Wars. Guiness did a good job as the wise sage of lost knowledge. All the prequel stuff was pretty bland.

K said...

Luke Skywalker: He started too late to become a Jedi - like going to law school at 35 - but still became one of the most effective ever.

AndrewPrice said...

I have to say that when we came up with this question, my first thought was that it would be pretty simple. But then I realized you never really get to know any of them. And that got me thinking that this is a huge flaw in the prequels. How can you do three movies about the Jedi order and never really get to know any Jedi except one guy who dies in the first movie?

K said...

Andrew: Your observation was brought up in this classic review of Star Warz pt 1:
Mr Plinketts Review

If you haven't seen it, suggest you check it out.

Anonymous said...

Luke is the one that springs to mind.

As Andrew mentions you don't get to know many of the Jedi at all, we spent the most time with Luke. Sure he started out as a whiny brat, but he grew into a great Jedi Knight.

Scott.

Dave Olson said...

Not too familiar with the Expanded Universe; I played Dark Forces and read Zahn's "Heir to the Empire" series, but that's about it. Mara Jade seems to be the female Han Solo, aka the thief with the heart of gold. Too bad she is described as being about 5'4". In my world she'd be a clone of Karen Gillan. ;)

ScottDS said...

shawn -

Can't argue with that. Guinness was actually nominated for a Best Supporting Oscar for the film.

An acting nomination for a Lucas movie? It did happen... once! :-)

ScottDS said...

K -

I think we're all familiar with Mr. Plinkett's work!

(Red Letter Media recently did a commentary for Star Trek V featuring Plinkett, but I don't know if I want to listen to him improvise for two hours.) :-)

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

Yeah, you're right. Just imagine how badass it would've been when the Jedi go to arrest Palpatine in Revenge of the Sith if, you know, we KNEW anything about them so their deaths would be more meaningful.

ScottDS said...

Anon/Scott -

Luke? Whiny? All he wanted were some power converters!

;-)

ScottDS said...

Dave -

I'm not familiar with the Expanded Universe at all, though the name Mara Jade seems to come up quite often in these discussions.

Karen Gillan's 5'11"?!?! Wow.

tryanmax said...

I've come to peace with whiny Skywalkers. It's apparently a family trait. So with that in mind, I'm going with Anakin Skywalker. Sure, he turned to the Dark Side and almost single -handedly brought down the Old Republic in one of the most epic fits of emo-angst known to human-, Wookie-, or Mon Calamari-kind. But he out-pod-raced Sebulba as a toddler--which is pretty awesome--and I got nothing against those who peak early.

PikeBishop said...

Scott, don't laugh. I always felt Frank Oz should have gotten a nod just for Yoda's death scene in Ep.6.

No kidding!

Jason said...

Sam Jackson’s line readings are a wonder to behold, for how Lucas can get really stilted performances out of good actors. These are my favorites. Just listen to them next time.

“You refer to the prophecy of the one who will bring balance to the Force. You believe it's this....boy?” (Trying to sound startled but it comes off funny)

“A Sith Lord?” (After Anakin tells him Palpatine is Sidious. He tries to sound surprised, but again, it’s hard not to chuckle)

“You have lost!” (To Palpatine during their duel. I think Sam put too much ham in that one)

Anyway, favorite Jedis. Yep, too few Jedis to choose from. I would say I like Original Trilogy-era Yoda, even more so in comparison to prequel-era Yoda. Among other things, OT Yoda sounded wise in his teachings, but prequel Yoda came off as clueless (esp. in dealing with Anakin and realizing this kid could be trouble) and his advice to Anakin on how to deal with a loved one’s impending death was horrible (mourn not for those who become part of the Force, yet Obi-Wan’s “I heard millions of oysters cry out in terror” sounds a lot like mourning to me!) and then there was his “fear leads to hate and hate leads to suffering” speech which made no sense…sigh.

I would add that Qui-Gon Jinn actually is an interesting character, a “wise leader” that is also roguish and somewhat reckless. I think Liam Neeson elevated that part and it’s a shame he couldn’t come back for the next two movies.

ScottDS said...

Pike -

I'm not laughing - some folks are trying to get the Oscars to recognize voice/puppet performers. (Guys like Andy Serkis, etc.) :-)

ScottDS said...

Jason -

Yeah, Sam Jackson is Exhibit A (and B and C) when it comes to great actors turning in not so great performances in these movies and it makes one wonder what they might've been like had someone else directed them - same script, but different direction.

(Of course, a great director can't make a bad script great but they might be able to make a bad script okay.)

ScottDS said...

tryanmax -

Sadly, Anakin proves that some who peak early tend to crash early, too.

BIG MO said...

Anakin Skywalker, flaws and all. I'm such a Star Wars geek that it's hard to separate the movies from the expanded universe, but Anakin still tops my list. In the EU, it's Mara Jade Skywalker and Jaina Solo - daughter of Han and Leia, of course - who kicks serious butt as a Jedi and an X-Wing pilot.

ScottDS said...

BIG MO -

It'll be interesting to see if they use any of those characters in the new films, introducing them to audiences who've never read the books [raises hand]. :-)

Tennessee Jed said...

sadly, I've come to a conclusion (albeit anecdotal) about films like Star Wars. It was released when my oldest son was about 5 or 6. I was blown away, like most folks. Having been a huge fan of the original Star Trek in college, the special effects of Douglas Trumbull (2001 Space Odyssey) protege John Dykstra were truly jaw dropping. The storyline of the original trilogy was just what it needed to be; something that kids and adults alike could relate to. Throw in a young Harrison Ford, the voice of James Earl Jones (before it became a cliche,) a cute little Yoda, and it was all something quite special.

In truth though, when I go back to look at them today, the acting was just dreadful. I dutifully went to see the first prequel, and to be honest, was bored out of my mind. I did buy the last one where Anakin becomes Darth Vader. It had it's moments, but like so many things in life, if something is very good, people won't leave it alone until it's been way overdone. I can't help but feel that way about the Star Wars saga. Now maybe if my youngest son can give me a grandchild old enough to watch the new Disney reboots .... Still, having Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher come back with loose neck skin flapping around like Thanksgiving turkeys ... as Bob Dylan once sang "you can always come back, you just can't come back all the way."

ScottDS said...

Jed -

It's funny. I can't help but feel that having Mark Hamill, et al in the new films is a a big mistake. Now maybe it's because I'm not as hardcore with THIS particular Star franchise but if I were making the movie, the motto would be, "Onward and upward!" Joss Whedon was recently asked what he'd do and he expressed a similar sentiment.

Having said that, at the end of the day the original film and its sequel are just good movies. If the prequels had been better written, perhaps we'd forgive the less than stellar acting.

djskit said...

I'm tired of these M----- F------ Sith in this M----- F----- Chancellery! (?)

ScottDS said...

djskit -

Ha!!

I vaguely recall an SNL episode from 1999 or 2000 where they parodied Episode I and Tracy Morgan played Samuel L. Jackson in - what else - full-on loud and crazy mode. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, It is pretty amazing if you think about it that you never get to know any of the Jedi. It's no wonder it's impossible to feel anything for these films.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, LOL! Vader peaked early... emo-angst. Nicely done! :)

AndrewPrice said...

PikeBishop, The death of Yoda was sad. The destruction of the Jedi was a poor video game.

AndrewPrice said...

Jason, It's amazing how Lucas managed to get soooo little out of Jackson. I think they picked the wrong character for the actor and tried to force him into a mold he just couldn't meet. Plus, it's apparently impossible to give lines meaning when George Lucas is staring in your face.

AndrewPrice said...

Big Mo, I know none of those people. LOL!

As Scott says, it will be interesting to see what Disney does now. They apparently are planning a bunch of spinoffs.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I think the acting is pretty good in the first two, it just all starts to go wrong by the third and then really falls apart by the time of the prequels.

AndrewPrice said...

djskit, It's hard not to see him giving that speech or the one from Pulp Fiction before he blows someone away. That would have improved Star Wars a lot. :)

rlaWTX said...

ok - my fav is the Jedi concept, a close second is Yoda (again, prequels you speak of, know them not)...

obiwan2009 said...

My favorite is Han Solo, okay, The guy who made Antiheroism cool in Star Wars, and who brought along the Rebellions' new Top Gun Air Force General, Lando Calrissian ( I assume Lando would be Air Force because Air Force has the rank of General, and because he is a pilot, so forgive me if he were actually with the Marines instead) Again, Han Solo was that character who was a proud scoundrel and a real jerk, but nonetheless a protagonist in the crowd.

ScottDS said...

rla -

Well said! (Or is that, "said well"?) :-)

ScottDS said...

obiwan -

Not quite a Jedi but a great character and an archetype that was sorely missing in the prequels, someone to sit back and say, "Hey, what the hell are you guys talking about?"

My favorite badass Han Solo moment - when they encounter Darth Vader in Cloud City and Han draws his blaster and just starts shooting. :-)

Anonymous said...

Scott,

You remember that scene wrong, Vader shot first (force attack) and Han was merely returning fire. Han would never shoot first, he's a nice guy.

Scott.

ScottDS said...

Scott -

Of course, what was I thinking? :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Han never shot second... ever... in anything.

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