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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Titan in the Playground
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    tongue Re: The Great Star Wars Watchthrough

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    So it does. Uh. Well, I sit corrected.
    I never did get far into this book...
    No shame in that. The concepts were interesting, but I wouldn’t call it a page turner. I fell asleep mid sentence at least twice.

  2. - Top - End - #32
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Great Star Wars Watchthrough

    Watched TPM over Christmas.

    Blockade running, R2 saves the ship. This is a really bad scene. It’s all ‘tell instead of show’ and makes very little sense. If the Trade Federation battleship could blast through the shields and cripple the shield generator in one volley, why does getting the shields back up even matter? And if having the shields down is so dangerous, how come the ship could survive under 60 seconds of direct fire while R2 did repairs?
    The generator is hit, but they still have shields up. The shields don't fall completely until about three seconds before R2'S repair puts them back up, when that guy says 'the shields are gone'.

    The underwater bit shows Jedi composure in the insane situation, where Jar Jar is appropriately panicking, Qui Gon and Obi take being caught by giant fish in stride.

  3. - Top - End - #33
    Dragon in the Playground Moderator
     
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    Default Re: The Great Star Wars Watchthrough

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire Guard View Post
    Watched TPM over Christmas.



    The generator is hit, but they still have shields up. The shields don't fall completely until about three seconds before R2'S repair puts them back up, when that guy says 'the shields are gone'.
    Why are the droids getting shot off, though? Are the shields skintight? Imean, they have to be.
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    Your bread looks like a rotary phone.
    This right here, is some prime quality culinary critique.

  4. - Top - End - #34
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Great Star Wars Watchthrough

    Episode I: The Phantom Menace (Part 2/2)




    Thoughts While Watching

    • Anakin is getting congratulated by everyone. His mother tells him how proud she is since he’s “brought hope to those who have none”. Wait, what? No he hasn’t.
    • Obi-Wan: “Why do I sense we’ve picked up yet another pathetic life-form?” I didn’t remember Obi-Wan being this much of a **** in Episode I.
    • You really feel sorry for Anakin’s mother. Wonder how the whole story would have turned out if Qui-Gon had managed to bring her along too. The whole goodbye is really touching.
    • Anakin to 3PO: “I’ll make sure Mom doesn’t sell you or anything.” For a supposedly gangster-run border world, Tatooine is weirdly civilised. Anakin’s mother is a slave, but she has a nice private house for herself and her son and can apparently own property.
    • Oh right, Darth Maul. I’d forgotten about him. He shows up, takes a few swings at Qui-Gon and gets left behind. It’s a bit of an anticlimax, honestly.
    • More weird stilted dialogue between Anakin and Padme.
    • Coruscant! It’s very pretty.
    • Politics starts up. ‘Amidala’ has changed to a new fancy outfit, though her red makeup is still just as weird (and clashes horribly with the white face paint and pale clothing).
    • We see the Jedi Council. Hi, Yoda, hi Samuel L. Jackson. “It is possible he was conceived by the midi-chlorians.” Sure, I guess.
    • Senate scene. It’s actually reasonably well done. You see Palpatine manipulate Amidala into bringing down Valorum.
    • Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon talk against a sunset of flying vehicles. It really is a beautiful visual.
    • ”Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
    • More scenes, and everyone gets sent back to Naboo for more or less convincing reasons.
    • Qui-Gon is supposed to be wise, but his advice mostly ends up sounding so vague as to be totally useless. “Always remember, your focus determines your reality.”
    • More about midi-chlorians. I have to wonder why Lucas even put this stuff in the movie. What’s the point? It’s not totally awful, but it doesn’t add anything at all.
    • Back to Naboo. The same blockade that was so dangerous on the way out gets totally bypassed on the way in.
    • Gungan negotiations. Big Amidala reveal. I think when I watched this the first time I was like “oh, so that’s why the handmaiden got all the dialogue”.
    • I actually kind of like that all it takes to make the big diplomatic breakthrough with the Gungans is for Padme to be humble and kneel. Feels a lot more realistic than giving a Picard speech.
    • Briefing scene. The plan is to use the Gungans as a diversion while they take the trade goombas as hostages and shoot down the droid control ship. Plus side: it’s not a totally stupid plan and Padme shows good leadership and asks for feedback and advice from her allies. Bad side: the plan’s still pretty desperate, depends on a lot of things going right, and means sacrificing a lot of Gungans.
    • Big army battle scene. Virtuous primitives with slingshots versus evil soulless droids. Meanwhile, Padme’s special forces group raids the palace. Lots of shooting, though the droids still fail as threatening opponents.
    • The battle on the ground switches back and forth between the battle in space. It’s kind of an echo of the Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi, but not as good.
    • The giant army of CGI droids looks sort of scary . . . except that the battle droids have spent the entire movie being kicked around by every character in the cast.
    • Darth Maul appears. ‘Duel of the Fates’ starts up. It really is a great track.
    • Jedi duel, to the sound of John Williams. In between the cool scenes of Darth Maul fighting two Jedi at once, your attention is cruelly dragged away to Anakin in his starfighter and Padme’s group shooting up yet more battle droids. We don’t care, get back to the lightsabers.
    • Padme’s team goes mountaineering, Anakin does some flying, and Darth Maul splits up the two Jedi.
    • I always really liked the power field corridor scene. Qui-Gon kneels and meditates, while Maul paces like a restless animal.
    • The Gungan battle continues. Jar-Jar has an extended slapstick scene where everything he does randomly happens to smash more droids.
    • Droidekas show up to capture Padme, then conveniently leave so that Padme can capture the viceroy.
    • Qui-Gon gets impaled. Obi-Wan steps it up and the last part of the duel between him and Maul is excellent.
    • ”We’re losing power!” “Impossible, nothing can get through our shield!” Dude, a fighter just flew RIGHT THROUGH YOUR SHIELDS AND INTO YOUR HANGAR.
    • Obi-Wan finds a little extra and cuts Maul in half. Meanwhile Anakin blows up the droid control ship and wins the battle all by himself because of course he does.
    • Qui-Gon dies after having Obi-Wan promise to train Anakin. Palpatine arrives to gloat/congratulate Padme. The Trade Goombas get sent home.
    • ”Your apprentice Skywalker will be.”
    • Qui-Gon gets a funeral, there’s an unnecessary victory parade, and the Gungans are presented with the Plasma Ball of Significance for some reason. And roll credits.


    Final Thoughts

    So, the Phantom Menace. The dialogue is bad – stilted, awkward, and unnatural. The acting is also bad (the only well-acted scenes that I can think of are Anakin and his mother and the Jedi duel). Story is serviceable, nothing special. Battles are largely boring, with the big exception of the Jedi duel. The only things about the movie that are genuinely good are the visuals and John Williams’s score.

    But I still finished the film feeling like it was a decent movie.

    A big part of it is a realisation I had midway through: TPM is a kid’s movie. Once you realise that, lots of the most annoying things – Jar Jar, the silly villains, Anakin saving the day – are a lot more forgivable. Anakin always wins because he’s the kid protagonist and winning is what he does.

    But even aside from that, I can’t really find it in my heart to dislike TPM. Despite all the silliness and all the plot holes and all the questionable choices, there’s a kind of earnest sincerity to the whole thing. Lucas really loves his setting and this is his big chance to lay out its foundations, and he’s going to do it no matter what anyone thinks.

    And as a foundation, it does kind of work. The job of a prequel is to set the stage for the following movies, and that’s exactly what TPM does, even if much of it didn’t need to exist. It doesn’t really make any of the following movies better, but it doesn’t make them worse, either, and it does an acceptable job of what it sets out to do.


    Final Grade

    C. It’s not great, it’s not terrible. I don’t know if I’ll ever watch it again, but I don’t regret seeing it.

    And that’s it for Episode I! Next up, we’re fast-forwarding three years to 2002, Attack of the Clones.
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  5. - Top - End - #35
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Great Star Wars Watchthrough

    Quote Originally Posted by russdm View Post
    Actually, you are quite wrong. Solo deserves at least a B or C. It's as good as Rogue One in my opinion, and it tanked at the box office solely because it had the misfortune to come after the Last Jedi, which was the biggest F-You to the saga and its themes in general. If every method of bashing star wars mercilessly could be done, it was done in that movie. People didn't like it, and then Solo came, to get nearly all of backlash that Last Jedi deserved. Especially since the fact that disney pulled a massive discredit of fans for disliking Last Jedi, complaining about what was wrong.

    Disney basically called fans morons or worse for not liking The Last Jedi, and so people reacted in the best way that they could, by tanking Solo in the Box Office. The Last Jedi deserves its crap, Solo doesn't
    Couldn't agree more.

    I think Solo might actually be the best Star Wars movie of them all. It certainly is in the top 4.
    Maybe it is a little bit contrast effect in my eyes (Everything would look better when compared to TLJ), but still. Solo has a lot to love, and very little to hate. Great movie. Sad that the other side movie about Obi Wan was cancelled. Somehow the side movies were better stories than the main saga sequels.
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  6. - Top - End - #36
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Great Star Wars Watchthrough

    Nice watch through.

  7. - Top - End - #37
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Great Star Wars Watchthrough

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    A big part of it is a realisation I had midway through: TPM is a kid’s movie. Once you realise that, lots of the most annoying things – Jar Jar, the silly villains, Anakin saving the day – are a lot more forgivable. Anakin always wins because he’s the kid protagonist and winning is what he does.
    That (and the midichlorians...) pretty much sums up the problems I had with TPM. The OT were family films, whereas Anakin and Jar-Jar made this feel primarially aimed at the kids. Once you take the kiddie elements out of the picture TPM wasn't really too bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    But even aside from that, I can’t really find it in my heart to dislike TPM. Despite all the silliness and all the plot holes and all the questionable choices, there’s a kind of earnest sincerity to the whole thing. Lucas really loves his setting and this is his big chance to lay out its foundations, and he’s going to do it no matter what anyone thinks.
    This is pretty much the saving grace of the PT and the "special" editions of the OT - at least Lucas seems to care about the franchise.
    Warning: This posting may contain wit, wisdom, pathos, irony, satire, sarcasm and puns. And traces of nut.

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  8. - Top - End - #38
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: The Great Star Wars Watchthrough

    Episode II: Attack of the Clones (Part 1/2)



    Introduction

    The Phantom Menace got a rocky reception. Kids liked it well enough, but long-term fans had a lot to say, much of it bad. But it didn’t stop Lucas coming back three years later with Episode II.

    On an unrelated note, I thought back in 2002 that ‘Attack of the Clones’ was a terrible title, and I still do. It made me think of ‘Attack of the Killer Tomatoes’.


    Thoughts While Watching

    • Pretty opening scene with the starships flying through the clouds to land on Coruscant. The Naboo ship looks kind of like a shiny version of a US jet age heavy bomber.
    • And the ship explodes. It kind of sets the tone for the movie – the threat now isn’t armies, its assassinations and sabotage. Unrelated note, what actually caused the explosion? It doesn’t look like a bomb.
    • Palpatine arranges for Obi-Wan to bodyguard Padme. It’s hard to tell how far he’s able to predict things.
    • Ewan McGregor looks way more comfortable and animated as Obi-Wan Kenobi than he did in Episode I. Maybe they cut back on the CGI for Episode II?
    • I know he’s the only major Gungan character, but are you seriously telling me Jar Jar was the best choice the Gungans could find to represent their entire species?
    • ”You’ve grown.” “So have you. Grown more beautiful, I mean.”
    • Obi-Wan and Anakin’s argument in front of Padme comes across as really unprofessional. Obi-Wan can’t control his apprentice, and Anakin hasn’t learned any discipline.
    • The centipede assassination attempt scene is actually pretty cool. Tense even on a rewatch.
    • The car chase is a lot sillier, but come to think of it, it does have a purpose. Obi-Wan’s recklessness does a good job of showing you where Anakin is picking up some of his traits from.
    • He also has a bad habit of lecturing Anakin all the time.
    • ”You wanna buy some death sticks?” Episode II’s dialogue is a lot better than Episode I’s. (Edit: Some of Episode II’s dialogue is a lot better than Episode I’s.)
    • Anakin and Obi-Wan see the Jedi Council and the party splits in two. Despite the night assassination, Episode II is much brighter than Episode I. The opening scene and the Jedi Council’s scenes are done in daylight instead of sunset/gloom.
    • Padme gives Jar-Jar her responsibilities while she’s gone. Yeah, no way that can go wrong.
    • Anakin gives an extended low-key temper tantrum, complaining about Obi-Wan. This is the first really bad scene in the film. The dialogue is clunky and Hayden Christensen’s delivery is terrible. Anakin’s supposed to be 19 but he sounds five years younger.
    • Goodbye scene. Padme to nameless underling: “Take good care of Dormé.” Who’s Dormé?
    • The fifties diner in Star Wars dress-up that Obi-Wan goes to is REALLY silly. Kind of fun though.
    • They really put a lot of effort into the visuals for this movie. The archives are beautiful, even though they only appear in maybe 60 seconds of footage and we never see them ever again.
    • And from the beauty of the visuals in Obi-Wan’s scene, we’re plunged into the awfulness of the developing Padme/Anakin romance.
    • The ‘missing planet’ mystery is resolved by deciding that it must have been deleted from the archives. I’m not really sure why this scene’s in the film from a story perspective (it doesn’t add anything) but it’s fun seeing Obi-Wan work his way through it.
    • Obi-Wan makes it to Kamino and gets told “Oh hi, you’re here! Here are your 200,000 clone soldiers.” It’s such a weird twist, I remember being totally confused when I saw this for the first time. But it does work, in that it makes you realise that major plots are going on that we’re only seeing tiny glimpses of.
    • The movie cuts away from Kenobi’s spy thriller and forbidding shots of the clone army to Anakin and Padme’s romance holiday. How is it that Padme’s supposed to be in hiding, but she’s wearing a different super-elaborate dress (along with ten hours worth of makeup, styling, and accessories) in every scene she shows up in?
    • Jango Fett shows up. Again, you feel like you’re missing half the story, but you can also tell that something’s going on. And again, just as it gets interesting we cut back to Anakin and Padme.
    • More flirting, more pretty scenery, more CGI, more fancy dresses, more awful dialogue.
    • Obi-Wan reports back. Yoda scolds him, tells him “not to assume anything”, and that “clear your mind must be”, despite the fact that Obi-Wan’s assumptions are 100% right. The Jedi Council really are annoying. You can see why Anakin got pissed off with them.
    • Anakin has bad dreams. Random thought: who’s doing all the housekeeping for Anakin and Padme? We don’t see them cooking their own food or cleaning their own clothes, yet they always seem to be alone.
    • You know, I’m sure lots of people have pointed this out . . . but in the ten years between Episode I and Episode II, would it really have been such a big deal for Obi-Wan or Yoda or one of the Senators to send a Republic agent to Tatooine, have him buy the slave contract for Anakin’s mother, and ship her back to Coruscant? It would have cost them something like 0.01% of the Jedi Temple’s annual budget, and given what the consequences of doing nothing turned out to be, it would have been a pretty good investment . . .
    • Obi-Wan vs Jango Fett. It’s a fun fight scene with lots of cool toys, but not very well shot. Too many jump cuts.
    • Meanwhile, Anakin and Padme’s not-honeymoon continues with a trip to Tatooine.
    • Watto the flying big-nosed junk dealer has gone downhill in the last ten years. The flies are a bit much though.
    • Back to Obi-Wan, following Jango. And at this point we’re about halfway through, so I’ll make the cut.


    First Half Thoughts

    I’d forgotten just how different this movie was from Episode I. Episode I was an adventure movie which tracks the ‘party’ of main characters (and it’s a big party) from Naboo to Tatooine to Coruscant and back to Naboo again. By contrast, Attack of the Clones has only three main characters and it feels like two movies, not one. There’s a conspiracy techno-thriller with Obi-Wan trying to solve a mystery, and there’s a romance movie with Anakin and Padme. The movie constantly cuts back and forth between them, which is really disorienting when we’re switching between an storm-tossed ocean habitat and a candlelit dinner.

    Unfortunately there’s a big gap in quality between the two. Obi-Wan’s story is good. It’s interesting – you’re constantly finding out new twists and turns – and it showcases all the beautiful visuals and world-building that Star Wars excels at. Anakin and Padme’s story on the other hand . . .

    . . . It’s bad.

    Really, really bad.

    The Anakin and Padme scenes from Episode II contain some of the most teeth-clenchingly awful ‘romantic’ dialogue I’ve ever had to sit through. It is hideous. I’ve written down some of the most painful bits, because if I have to suffer through this crap then I’m going to make sure you guys don’t get to forget it either.

    Padme: “Are you allowed to love? I thought that was forbidden for a Jedi.”
    Anakin: “Compassion, which I would define as . . . unconditional love . . . is central to a Jedi’s life. So you might say that we are encouraged to love.”

    Padme: “We used to lie out on the sand and let the sun dry us and try to guess the names of the birds singing.”
    Anakin: I don’t like sand. It’s coarse and rough and irritating . . . and it gets everywhere. Not like here. Here everything’s soft . . . and smooth . . .” *strokes Padme*

    Padme: “You’re making fun of me.”
    Anakin: “No, I’d be much too frightened to tease a senator.”

    Anakin: “And now that I’m with you again I’m in agony. The closer I get to you the worse it gets. The thought of not being with you . . . I can’t breathe. I’m haunted by the kiss that you should never have given me. My heart is beating, hoping that that kiss will not become a scar. You are in my very soul, tormenting me.”

    Padme: “No, you listen! We live in the real world, come back to it! If you follow your thoughts through to conclusion, it’ll take us to a place we cannot go.”
    Who wrote this stuff? This is bad even by the standards of Hollywood scriptwriting. If they wanted romantic dialogue, would it have been so hard to find a decent romance writer to do it for them? It’s not like they’re in short supply!

    I remember liking the end of Attack of the Clones, with the big battle scenes. I hope they make up for this middle bit, because I really could use something to help me forget it.
    Last edited by Saph; 2020-01-01 at 09:18 AM.
    I'm the author of the Alex Verus series of urban fantasy novels. Fated is the first, and Book #10 in the series, Fallen, is out as of September 2019. For updates, check my blog!

  9. - Top - End - #39
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Great Star Wars Watchthrough

    Yup. Attack of the Clones. One of the worst romances ever written with two of the most boring protagonists. In a dumpster fire if a movie.

    Hell even the “good parts” of it are at best turn your brain off violence sections that aren’t as good as the Duel of the Fates scene. You feel my pain, Saph. Good luck making it to the finish.

  10. - Top - End - #40
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Great Star Wars Watchthrough

    While the prequel trilogy lacks (to understate ) in various forms of quality, it has some smart as heck themes, especially surrounding the overall story itself rather than the specific Events As They Are Happening.

    Better writing while keeping the themes wouldve been absolutly perfect.



    Also: A lot of the actions the Jedi as a whole make become much more reasonable once you realize that the Jedi arent good: they are overly relying on "medichlorians" to truly think about connection to the force, while also not truly serving Good: They dont care about freeing slaves or aiding the marginilized, they are here to preserve the imperialist Republic (its senators already are basing their decisions on their personal wealth).
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  11. - Top - End - #41
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Great Star Wars Watchthrough

    Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2/2)




    Thoughts While Watching

    • Back into the action. Dogfight in an asteroid field. I’d forgotten how much of this film Obi-Wan spends talking to his astromech droid.
    • C-3PO reappears, and Anakin meets his family-in-law. It’s kind of cool seeing the house Luke’ll grow up in. The moisture farm looks good for such an old set design.
    • We get the Skywalker theme as Anakin rides off on his speeder. It really is great music.
    • Meanwhile, Obi-Wan overhears the vaguely sinister-looking alien species that make up the Seperatists having a meeting with the more traditionally villainous-looking Christopher Lee.
    • Anakin finds his mother, who dies in his arms. His reaction’s about what you’d expect. On a rewatch, you really can’t blame Anakin for this one. The Tuskens had it coming.
    • Yoda: “Something terrible has happened.” I mean . . . doesn’t this kind of thing happen all the time?
    • Anakin returns with his mother’s body and goes off into his workroom. Padme follows. What would be a good scene is spoiled by more painful Anakin/Padme dialogue.
    • Funeral, and Obi-Wan gets a long-range message through.
    • Anakin’s ordered to stay where he is while the Jedi rescue Obi-Wan. Padme promptly decides that they have to go save him first, causing a weird about-face where now Anakin’s the one arguing for caution and Padme’s being reckless. Padme ends the argument by deciding to go off on her own, meaning that Anakin’s just going to have to come along. It’s a bit of an odd decision. Padme’s supposed to be a politician – how exactly is she planning to rescue a Jedi Master on her own? (Spoiler: she doesn’t.)
    • Obi-Wan meets Dooku. I still don’t know exactly whose side Dooku’s on at this point, or when he’s lying.
    • Jar-Jar destroys democracy. Windu heads for Geonosis, Yoda heads for Kamino.
    • Padme tells Anakin to follow her lead. “I’m not interested in getting into a war here. Maybe I can find a diplomatic solution to this mess.” Is she delusional?
    • Padme and Anakin disembark, and within 60 seconds are in a lightsaber and blaster fight on a factory conveyor belt filled with molten metal.
    • Big action scene. Padme gets knocked into a smelting pot, Anakin fights until he loses his lightsaber, and both get captured. Meanwhile R2 flies around on rocket boosters, and C-3PO gets head-swapped. It’s a lot of fun but it really highlights how stupid Anakin and Padme’s plan was.
    • Padme admits her love for Anakin. Her dialogue and delivery isn’t as bad as Anakin’s, but it’s still pretty bad. John Williams does his best with the musical score to balance out the words.
    • Arena scene. I remember this being pretty fun.
    • Anakin: “Then we decided to come and rescue you.” Obi-Wan: “Good job.”
    • In very D&D fashion, all our three protagonists get a weird monster to fight. Anakin gets a charging rhino-thing, Obi-Wan gets a giant lizard mantis, and Padme gets a sort of mouse-tiger that seems the nastiest of the three.
    • The Jedi arrive, led by Mace Windu.
    • Huge battle between the Jedi, the protagonists, the Geonosians, and the droids. Jango takes on Mace Windu and gets his head chopped off.
    • The battle rages, but there aren’t enough Jedi. They get pushed back into a defensive circle. Dooku calls for them to surrender . . . and the clones arrive, led by Yoda.
    • Gunship rescue. It’s a pretty cool scene.
    • And we’re into the war arc. Clones face off against droids.
    • You get a look at the opposing armies. The clones have their Thunderhawk-style gunships and walkers that look like precursors of the Imperial ATs, while the droids have spider walkers and rolling rocket wheels. The clone war machines seem a lot better.
    • The protagonists go after Dooku. Padme’s knocked out, Obi-Wan and Anakin have a shouted argument. It’s . . . not very good.
    • Anakin vs Dooku. Dooku one-shots him.
    • Obi-Wan vs Dooku. More even, but Dooku still beats him easily.
    • Anakin vs Dooku, Round 2. Similar to the Obi-Wan fight, ending with Anakin losing an arm.
    • Yoda vs Dooku, Round 1.
    • Yoda vs Dooku, Round 2. I’m not sure how to feel about this whole fight. It’s funny, but feels off, somehow.
    • Dooku escapes and flies to Coruscant to the sound of the Emperor’s Theme. The original music is still the best, I think.
    • Jedi Council scene in the sunset.
    • ”Begun the Clone War has.” And we get a shot of the clones, the music fading into the Imperial March.
    • Anakin and Padme’s wedding, a shot of Anakin’s new mechanical arm, and end credits.


    Overall Thoughts

    Attack of the Clones is a hard movie to rate. The good parts are good. The bad parts are terrible.

    The Good

    • The music is great – both John Williams’s original score, and the new tracks too.
    • Visuals are beautiful.
    • The battle scenes at the end are exciting. You don’t often see big sci-fi battles properly done on film.
    • Obi-Wan’s whole investigation is interesting.
    • The film does its best to show the scale of the huge galactic adventure that the protagonists are involved in.
    • There’s less Jar-Jar.

    The Bad

    • Every single thing about Anakin and Padme’s romance.
    • Every single scene with Anakin and Padme in general.
    • Actually, you can expand that to pretty much any time Anakin opens his mouth.
    • While the film tries to show a sense of scale, it doesn’t really manage it. Everything is still on much too small a scale for something that’s supposed to cover a galaxy, and the galaxy’s fate gets determined by just a handful of people.
    • A lot of the individual scenes, while fun to watch, are kind of pointless looking at the film as a whole.
    • Still too much Jar-Jar.


    I’m honestly not sure how to rate it. I guess, using Phantom Menace as a baseline, if I had to choose between watching TPM again and watching this again, I’d pick this. So I’ll rank it higher, but not much higher.

    Final Grade

    C+. It’s better than The Phantom Menace, but not by much.
    I'm the author of the Alex Verus series of urban fantasy novels. Fated is the first, and Book #10 in the series, Fallen, is out as of September 2019. For updates, check my blog!

  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Default Re: The Great Star Wars Watchthrough

    Obi-Wan is really good in AotC, even when Anakin rejoins him. Anakin is a 50 ton anchor in this movie, dragging everything down. That's pretty much what I remember about the next movie as well sadly.
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    These movies criminally underuse Sir Christopher Lee.
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    the Vector Legion [is the IFCC's new pawns], mark my words. Way too much unfinished business there and they already know about the Gates.
    I'll take that bet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    Random thought: who’s doing all the housekeeping for Anakin and Padme? We don’t see them cooking their own food or cleaning their own clothes, yet they always seem to be alone.
    Droids, most likely. Almost everyone in Star Wars owns at least one, and probably more, nearly tireless automatons that can take care of most daily tasks and many of their dumb machines are likewise automated - stoves that cook food with a button push, self-cleaning bathrooms, etc. Daily life for people in Star Wars is actually surprisingly weird.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    The Bad

    [LIST][*]Every single thing about Anakin and Padme’s romance.
    [*]Every single scene with Anakin and Padme in general.
    [*]Actually, you can expand that to pretty much any time Anakin opens his mouth.


    Final Grade

    C+. It’s better than The Phantom Menace, but not by much.
    You are an easier grader than I. While I don't disagree with any specific point, I don't think I can rate a movie where I'd list everything the central protagonist says as a flaw and still give it a passing grade.

    Attack of the Clones and Phantom Menace are both Ds for me.
    Last edited by Dienekes; 2020-01-01 at 09:09 PM.

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    Default Re: The Great Star Wars Watchthrough

    Personally, I dislike Attack of the Clones more than Phantom Menace for... numerous reasons really, but a significant one is that central protagonist that it so thoroughly butchered is such a pop culture icon. That movie makes him a joke, a punch-line about goddamned sand.

    It's not like they couldn't have done him well, it's not a difficult character arc to deliver honestly and even the Clone Wars animated series (what I've seen of it at least) does him some justice for this aspect of his life. What they accomplished in Attack of the Clones is making him intolerable, an obnoxious self-righteous teenager who has just discovered extreme politics on some slimey forum for troglodytes and thinks they might have some good ideas and that they really are specially entitled to every selfish desire they have in life... while everyone around him just kind of ignores or placates his obvious warning signs as if his nausea-inducing actions and opinions are a passing phase. Obi Wan's "good friendship" with Anakin is almost entirely laid out in brief exposition as it doesn't resemble anything we actually see from their interactions, while Padme is such a Stepford plastic mannequin with a painted on smile as a character that it genuinely saddens me.

    Phantom Menace is boring, it's ideas for Anakin are inept, and I kind of hate it as a movie, but... at least Anakin was moderately sympathetic. I mean, in a Wesley Crusher kind of way, but still.

  17. - Top - End - #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dienekes View Post
    You are an easier grader than I. While I don't disagree with any specific point, I don't think I can rate a movie where I'd list everything the central protagonist says as a flaw and still give it a passing grade.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kitten Champion View Post
    It's not like they couldn't have done him well, it's not a difficult character arc to deliver honestly and even the Clone Wars animated series (what I've seen of it at least) does him some justice for this aspect of his life. What they accomplished in Attack of the Clones is making him intolerable, an obnoxious self-righteous teenager who has just discovered extreme politics on some slimey forum for troglodytes and thinks they might have some good ideas and that they really are specially entitled to every selfish desire they have in life... while everyone around him just kind of ignores or placates his obvious warning signs as if his nausea-inducing actions and opinions are a passing phase.
    Yeah, I did find Teenage Anakin hard to watch. He has this tic of awkwardly smirking, at the wrong time and in the wrong context. And his tone of voice rises and falls in the weirdest way. I know he's supposed to be a teenager and he's supposed to be socially inept, but he's not supposed to be THAT bad – he's 19! Watching him is almost Uncanny Valley levels of uncomfortable, like he's a cyborg that hasn't been programmed quite right.

    Which makes the romance all that much weirder, since when Padme confesses how she's fallen in love with him and has been "dying a little every day" since he came back into her life, you're left thinking ". . . you fell in love with that?"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    Yeah, I did find Teenage Anakin hard to watch. He has this tic of awkwardly smirking, at the wrong time and in the wrong context. And his tone of voice rises and falls in the weirdest way. I know he's supposed to be a teenager and he's supposed to be socially inept, but he's not supposed to be THAT bad – he's 19! Watching him is almost Uncanny Valley levels of uncomfortable, like he's a cyborg that hasn't been programmed quite right.
    This is the other reason I rank TPM above AotC and RotS ... I just cannot with Hayden Christensen. At all. Even the action sequences. And I don't really blame the actor, I've seen him in other things and liked him, but George Lucas managed to suck all the energy and humanity out of any performance he managed. And it's such a black hole of suck that it impacts all the performances around him.

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    Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (1/2)



    Introduction

    I remember this one as being pretty good, and judging by the Rotten Tomatoes critic and audience score, most people agree with me. Let’s hope I’m right.


    Thoughts While Watching

    • Straight into the action. Oh yeah, Grievous had ‘captured’ Palpatine, hadn’t he? I’d forgotten about that.
    • The starfighter scene isn’t as good as the Battle of Endor (those buzz droids are a lot less threatening than the Empire TIEs) but it’s still pretty exciting.
    • Anakin is so much less annoying in this movie.
    • Adventure hijinks on the droid ship. It’s silly, but fun – very swashbuckling-y.
    • Palpatine and Dooku’s appearance is a sign that things are getting more serious.
    • Dooku: “You have hate. You have anger. But you don’t use them.” Yeah . . . maybe not the smartest thing to say.
    • “Good, Anakin, good! . . . Kill him.”
    • I love the Vader echo as Dooku’s head falls.
    • Anakin is evil enough to kill Dooku, but not enough to abandon Obi-Wan. You can see that Palpatine really wants Obi-Wan out of the way . . .
    • Grievous does his hammy villain routine. He’s actually not a bad villain, even though if you haven’t seen the Clone Wars cartoons your first reaction is going to be ‘who is this guy again?’
    • Bringing a star cruiser out of orbit, losing half of it on re-entry, and landing it in the middle of a city is such a hilarious opening. It feels like the kind of thing a tabletop RPG party would do, right down to the dialogue. “Not to worry, we’re still flying half a ship.”
    • Obi-Wan and Anakin’s relationship is so much better written in this movie than in Episode II. Obi-Wan is gracious, gives Anakin credit where it’s due, and generally comes across as a much nicer guy than he did in the previous movies.
    • Anakin and Padme’s interactions are much better than Episode II, as well (admittedly that’s not saying much).
    • Okay, the ‘so in love’ line is making me reconsider that last one. Still, this is already a lot more fun than Episode II.
    • Anakin has visions of Padme’s death and goes to Yoda. Yoda’s advice is that “death is a natural part of life, rejoice for those who transform into the Force, mourn them do not, miss them do not”. Oh, and apparently attachment leads to jealousy, which is greed, which is bad. The whole thing has got to be the most useless advice possible to someone in Anakin’s position. You really do see why the Jedi Order ended up falling.
    • Palpatine appoints Anakin as his representative on the Jedi Council, both helping him to win Anakin’s trust and driving a wedge between Anakin and the Council with one move. The Council then shoots themselves in the foot by ordering Anakin to spy on Palpatine . . . which presumably Palpatine also predicted. He really does come across as a very skilled manipulator.
    • The opera scene with Palpatine and Anakin is one of my favourites. The atmosphere is excellent.
    • Obi-Wan is sent to Utapau, and Yoda commands a battle on Kashyyyk. It’s kind of cool seeing the Wookies fight, even if it’s a sideshow. It does make you realise the scale of the whole thing – a battle for an entire planet is used by Palpatine as a minor diversion.
    • Obi-Wan and Anakin say goodbye. It’s the last time we’ll ever see them as friends.
    • And unfortunately, with Obi-Wan gone, the only one left to advise Anakin is Padme, who’s clearly way out of her depth.
    • Obi-Wan starts his adventure on Utapau. I always liked that giant riding gecko. He finds Grievous and the Separatists, and his considered course of action is to . . . jump down into the middle of Grievous and his bodyguards and say hello. Well, I guess if you’re that good.
    • Or maybe he just knows Grievous well enough to guess that the droid won’t pass up the opportunity to duel him.
    • Obi-Wan’s one lightsaber vs Grievous’s four. It’s a pretty cool fight.
    • Chase scene!
    • Windu sends Anakin to Palpatine to report (and spy). Meanwhile the Jedi Council discusses taking over the Republic.
    • I only just noticed – for this scene with Palpatine and Anakin, Palpatine’s office has been redecorated in a dark grey and maroon colour scheme that’s very close to Sith black and red.
    • Palpatine tempts Anakin some more, but this time he pushes a little too fast. Anakin backs off.
    • Obi-Wan vs Grievous, continued. They go through every weapon at their disposal. I kind of like that Obi-Wan finally kills him with a blaster. It’s a sign that for all of his ‘so uncivilised’ talk, Obi-Wan’s a lot more pragmatic than most Jedi.
    • ”Master Windu, I must talk with you.” Dun-dun-dun.


    First Half Thoughts

    Man, Revenge of the Sith is SO much better than Episodes I and II. The character relationships are better, the drama and atmosphere is better, and the consequences feel so much more serious. There’s enough light-hearted swashbuckling adventure to make the movie fun, but there’s always the threat of something really bad happening.

    When you think about it, the storyline of the Prequel Trilogy is shockingly dark for something that starts out as a kids movie. It sets everything up so that it looks like you’re watching a heroic adventure where the good guys will come out on top, and then has everything go to hell in the worst way possible.

    A protagonist who’s the Chosen One, and destined to win! . . . Who then switches sides and becomes a child-murdering monster.
    A young couple who follow their hearts and trust in the power of love! . . . Right up until one of them murders the other.
    Virtuous young people who go into politics to reform the old and corrupt establishment! . . . except the establishment proceeds to tie them in knots, corrupting and manipulating them into actually making things worse.
    A political leader put into place by our heroes who uses his power to do good! . . . Oops, turns out he was actually the villain.
    An army of good guys comes to save the day! . . . Until they shoot you in the back. Then they shoot you another few times while you’re lying on the floor, just to make sure you’re dead.

    It’s really not a children’s story at all, it’s more like a tragedy that just happens to have a lot of action scenes and pretty visuals.
    I'm the author of the Alex Verus series of urban fantasy novels. Fated is the first, and Book #10 in the series, Fallen, is out as of September 2019. For updates, check my blog!

  20. - Top - End - #50
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    Default Re: The Great Star Wars Watchthrough

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    Bringing a star cruiser out of orbit, losing half of it on re-entry, and landing it in the middle of a city is such a hilarious opening. It feels like the kind of thing a tabletop RPG party would do, right down to the dialogue. “Not to worry, we’re still flying half a ship.”
    Ooh, I gotta start reading Darths & Droids again!
    The opera scene with Palpatine and Anakin is one of my favourites. The atmosphere is excellent.
    Yeah it’s a good scene but FOUR evil head turns in one conversation is a bit much.


    Obi-Wan and Anakin say goodbye. It’s the last time we’ll ever see them as friends.
    And during that conversation Obi-Wan stands in the light and Anakin in the shadow.

    Or maybe he just knows Grievous well enough to guess that the droid won’t pass up the opportunity to duel him.
    Cyborg, not droid.
    Last edited by Fyraltari; 2020-01-03 at 04:24 PM.

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    Default Re: The Great Star Wars Watchthrough

    Ehh, if you haven't seen the cartoons, then the companies that make robot armies have put a robot (okay, cyborg) in charge. Makes sense.

  22. - Top - End - #52
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    Default Re: The Great Star Wars Watchthrough

    The movie has close-ups on his organic eyes, he coughs constantly and he dies because of his internal organs being set on fire. You don’t need the cartoons to see that he isn’t a droid. He’s proto-Vader #3.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    the Vector Legion [is the IFCC's new pawns], mark my words. Way too much unfinished business there and they already know about the Gates.
    I'll take that bet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    The movie has close-ups on his organic eyes, he coughs constantly and he dies because of his internal organs being set on fire. You don’t need the cartoons to see that he isn’t a droid. He’s proto-Vader #3.
    I think the point being made was more "the cartoons actually flesh (heh) the guy out" rather than him just being... a thing, suddenly.

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    I agree about Solo.

    Would also rate it as good as Rogue One mostly because I felt they shouldn't have killed off the cast thus allowing their Cassian Andor series some additional legs than just being set before the movie when they could use his past as flashbacks to where he is currently.

    With Solo it really needed a bit more time and scenes especially having Han rescue some of the wookies on Kessel so they're the ones helping with that insane idea of adding some of the coaxium to the Falcon thus explaining why they survived and in the distance after they arrive they talk with some of Nest's crew whilst repairing the Falcon.

    Thus explaining how Lando was able to take off and leave them, but also explains why Nest asked them for help after all what better evidence she could once she learned Han rescued the wookies despite not having to?

    I agree it was the Last Jedi that effected its performance.

    Good luck with this its an interesting read!

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    Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2/2)




    Thoughts While Watching

    • I like the sunset scene with Anakin and Padme staring out the window. (The fact that they’re a few miles apart and can’t talk to each other probably helps.)
    • He tries his best in the Palpatine fight, but you can see that the 60-year-old Ian McDiarmid is really struggling to keep up with the stunts. Guess not every actor can be Sir Christopher Lee.
    • Windu goes out the window, Vader rises.
    • ”Execute Order 66.”
    • I always liked the “You dropped this” scene. Makes what happens next hit a lot harder.
    • Bail Organa gets his moment in the spotlight.
    • Anakin and Padme have their last non-tragic scene together. For once C-3PO has the best line with “Oh dear. I feel so helpless.”
    • Survivor meetup on the Tantive IV.
    • Mustafar is one of the best-looking backdrops in all of Star Wars. Palpaine tells the Separatists that his new apprentice, Darth Vader, will soon be there to “take care of them”.
    • ”R2, stay with the ship.” I don’t think Anakin and R2 ever meet again.
    • The separatists are taken care of.
    • Padme’s line about liberty dying “with thunderous applause” would be more convincing if we’d ever seen her doing anything to stop it.
    • Yoda and Obi-Wan take one Sith each. Obi-Wan doesn’t want to fight Anakin, but is overruled.
    • I suppose they didn’t want to show children dying, but they way they tiptoe around the ‘killing younglings’ thing is awkward to watch.
    • Padme goes to Mustafar, with Obi-Wan as a stowaway.
    • Padme and Anakin and Obi-Wan, the three protagonists from Episode II, together for the last time. Anakin gets one last chance to back down, and fails it hard.
    • The music as Obi-Wan confronts Anakin is amazing. You know, much as I hated Anakin in Episode II, his whole arc does fit. When he’s ranting on the landing platform here, it really is in-character for everything we know of him.
    • ”I will do what I must.” “You will try.”
    • Okay, so the Yoda/Palpatine duel is nowhere near as exciting as the other, but the opening where Yoda enters and Palpatine’s red-robed guards confront him is hilarious. “Get out of the way, mook.”
    • I think the Obi-Wan/Anakin duel might be the best one out of all the Star Wars movies. The choreography and music are great, but it’s also personal in a way that others aren’t. You get the feeling that the two of them really want to hurt each other, and you can see the mirror-image effects as Anakin uses the moves Obi-Wan taught him.
    • Obi-Wan retreats out onto the mining machinery, while Palpatine throws the Senate at Yoda. From the cackling, it’s like he takes a particular satisfaction in getting to use the democratic symbols as missiles.
    • Obi-Wan and Anakin hate each other so much by this point that they’re still fighting as the entire gantry they’re standing on falls into lava.
    • ”It’s over, Anakin! I have the high ground!”
    • Obi-Wan has something close to a breakdown.
    • And Anakin catches fire screaming. With hindsight, you wonder if it would have been better or worse for Obi-Wan to have finished him off there.
    • Anakin is saved by Palpatine, and Padme dies of a broken heart.
    • It’s kind of weird – we see Anakin being hideously burned and maimed and put back together on the operating table, but Luke and Leia’s births are super sanitised with only a few seconds of crying. Says some weird things about what is and isn’t acceptable on film.
    • Anakin takes his first breath as Vader, as Padme takes her last.
    • I love the last scenes with the babies. You see Leia go to Alderaan, while Luke goes to his only remaining family, on Tatooine.
    • Last shot of the twin suns in the sunset . . . and roll credits.


    Overall Thoughts

    Credit where it’s due to George Lucas. He has his flaws, but he knows how to tell a really epic story. Going into the Prequel Trilogy, he had way more influence than he had shooting the OT, and could do basically whatever he wanted. That led to some bad consequences (especially in dialogue, especially especially in the dialogue of Episode II) but it also meant that he could take risks and focus on the big picture in a way that few directors can.

    And the Prequel Trilogy does take risks. With a franchise as successful as Star Wars, it would have been very easy to just take a ‘more of the same’ approach. Instead, Lucas changes things up and legitimately tries to make a genuine prequel, giving us a look at the Old Republic and showing us why and how it fell. The prequels are much more mixed in theme than the OT – instead of ‘coming of age story/rebellion against the Empire’, the prequels range from children’s flick to political story to spy thriller to war movie. Some parts work better than others, but Lucas keeps trying new things, and that makes the movies surprisingly interesting, even on a rewatch.

    Revenge of the Sith is the best of the prequels by a long way. The fights, storyline, plot, and dramatic scenes are all a grade above the first two, and its best parts (Anakin vs Obi-Wan, Order 66) beat out anything in Episodes I and II by a mile. I’m probably in the minority, but I think Revenge of the Sith is just a really good movie on its own merits.


    Final Grade

    A-. The best of the prequels by a mile, and almost as good as Episodes IV to VI.

    So we’re finally done with the prequels! Time to move onto the Sequel Trilogy. Let’s see how the Disney movies stack up against Lucas’s ones.
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  26. - Top - End - #56
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    As i said in my earluer post here, the prequels ha e a SOLID plot brought down by bizzare technical issues and general incompetance.

    Its themes and ideas more than make for its flaws if you manage to shut off your brain to the latter, but i guess its mostly a choice when viewing it.


    In terms of the sequel trilogy:
    i thought TFA was ok. It managed to be exciting and look nice before putting its ideas to scrutiny, slightly souring it.

    TLJ is the best stars war piece of media in existence. Every single bit of it is good.

    RoTS is an intellectually vapid and creatively bankrupt atrocity of a film
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    This may be the most appropriate place ever for a 'This is where the fun begins' meme.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire Guard View Post
    This may be the most appropriate place ever for a 'This is where the fun begins' meme.
    Spoiler: But that movie isn't even in the watchthrough!
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    First one I really disagreed with you Saph. While yes, it’s the best of the prequels by a large margin. Each of the emotional beats kept being ruined for me by things taking me out of the story. Seeing Darth Vader for the first time? Cool. Seeing him crush droids around him just by talking? Awesome. Seeing him stick his chest out palm to the sky and say “NOOOoooOOOooO!” Had me laughing in the theater.

    Anakin and Obi’s fight scene? It’s the emotional conclusion to the arc of three movies. Watching men closer than brothers take up arms against each other. Only I could not get into the choreography. After a moment of furious well crafted action, they change to just twirling their weapons around them for no reason, followed by the strangest environment transitions where they’re fighting on towers and lava. I don’t even know how many disproportionate elevation clashes they had. Which just makes the final high ground moment seem forced. We’ve seen both these fighters do way more acrobatic stuff only to suddenly have high ground become the winning move.

    Maybe if the movie established high ground tactics earlier in the film so we know how difficult the move Anakin is tying to pull is. But it doesn’t. It establishes the opposite in the fight we just watched. So I’m left scratching my head why anyone would try to end the battle of brothers with essentially a pun.

    I also don’t really wonder if it was better to kill Anakin there. The guy was on fire. That’s not even hatred at that point that’s mercy. Obi leaving him to die a slow death from lava is one cold move.

    Any way. Can’t wait to read your next post. Canon chronology that’s Solo. A film I found thoroughly bland, but has some defenders. Or release order you get Force Awakens a film that is well crafted, but honestly I detest as much as some hate TLJ.
    Last edited by Dienekes; 2020-01-04 at 12:53 PM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Default Re: The Great Star Wars Watchthrough

    It's not just high ground. Obi Wan has firm footing, Anakin is surrounded by lava. Anything Ani tries to do, Obi responds with Force push into lava. If they get into another lock, Obi falls over, Ani falls into lava. Anakin has no choice but to try and leap over Obi so his back is no longer to lava, but that's too far for him when Obi's ready and waiting for it.

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