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AICN'S Jedi Council Returns! And Revenges! And The Sith Hits The Fan!!

Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...

Well, it had to happen at some point, and it finally happened this time. I missed a Jedi Council meeting. After all this time, we finally organized a get-together, with the extra added benefit of having a new trailer to discuss and having AICN’s own Quint in LA to attend, and I had to go and miss the damn thing.

That doesn’t mean I’m going to avoid interjecting a few thoughts along the way. In a way, I started the entire meeting with a question I left on Obi-Swan’s cell phone.

And to those of you who think that we just get together to hold these because we “hate” STAR WARS or George Lucas... get a grip. STAR WARS made most of us who we are today. It was the moment in pop culture history that defined us as kids, and if we have complicated feelings about the series and Lucas as a filmmaker as adults, that doesn’t mean we “hate” anything... it simply means we are capable of more than a simplistic one-note reaction to something.

So... take it away, guys...


Moriarty: (on speaker phone) Are STAR WARS fans, in fact, the battered wives of fandom? The EPISODE III trailer seems to be a promise – “He won’t hit us again. He loves us.” Are we just setting ourselves up for disappointment, or do we believe that he truly has the stuff to riiiiiiiiiiiise... and make the film we want this time?

Herc: I feel like a total battered wife. I feel very much like Jennifer Lopez in that movie... and it’s an amazing trailer. All the trailers have gotten me extremely excited about every STAR WARS movie for the last three movies and left me very, very bitter and battered.

Frosty: I truly believe that this movie will be good. This is because of all the people we’ve spoken with and all the stuff that’s leaked on the internet. First of all, this trailer, in my opinion, is nothing compared to the trailer for EPISODE I. When we all saw the trailer for EPISODE I, we freaked out. Now this trailer doesn’t make me freak out. The teaser trailer for EPISODE I was outrageous. People were like crying and freaking out and thinking it was going to be the greatest thing ever. And this trailer looks really good.

Andre Dellamorte: The thing is, for me at least, we knew that with Jango Fett that George was planting a fanbase. And this trailer is definitely sayin’, “We got Vader!” I think it’s partly in reference to the rumors that Vader wasn’t going to be in the movie at all. I think it’s a well-cut trailer. Lucas’s heart hasn’t been in it for the last two, and I will hold all expectations until we get to May and people actually see it. Until then, who knows?

Obi-Swan: As far as the “battered house wife” metaphor goes, I’d just like to say that it was all my fault. I deserved it. It wasn’t George’s fault. I fell down the stairs. I hit my head on the doorknob. I swear. Seriously, though, let’s face facts. Since George Lucas brought back STAR WARS in 1999, he has continually provided us with quality STAR WARS entertainment product. The only real difference with EPISODE III is going to be that he’s takin’ it to the hole. He’s gonna deliver. I’ve maintained this, even before EPISODE I came out, that the easiest film for him to get right will be EPISODE III. He’s got it in the bag.

Andre Dellamorte: Which is why it could be the biggest disappointment.

Sara S: First of all, I’m tired of the “battered wife” cliché. I’ve read it so many times now I’m sickened by it. I think Obi-Swan is right. This is the easiest one for him to nail. I think people should revel in the fact that it’s the last one. I think people will always hold the first trailer in such high regard because it was the first time they saw anything fresh STAR WARS in twenty years. That’s why they were like, “Yeah! This trailer’s great!” Anything STAR WARS and they thought it was great because they saw it without any context. We now have context for this trailer. It may not be what anyone else wants, I think this is the movie that fans are going to want more than anyone else. Fuck Joe Average. If he doesn’t like the movie, I don’t care. I’m gonna like it.

Mr. Beaks: I agree with you. The first trailer for EPISODE I was devoid of any connection to the mediocrity that was EPISODE I.

Frosty: Everybody look at Obi-Swan.

Mr. Beaks: Yeah, I could feel the eyes rolling. But, no. This trailer, again, it is well cut. I try to be hopeful with these movies. I thought the EPISODE II trailer was wonderful. I think this bodes well for the franchise. I don’t know that Lucas has the visual sophistication anymore to pull this off. He’s seems to have really stepped back and he’s not the filmmaker he used to be. However, if he’s working from a better script this time, if indeed Stoppard has been brought in to doctor it... it’s the same thing I say every time we get together... I bet he could pull this off and deliver something that may not be a great film, but something that is worthy of STAR WARS.

I’ll say this about the trailer… I agree with Sarah S. about the notion that the difference between this trailer and the EPISODE I trailer is context. When 1998 rolled around, and we started seeing actual new STAR WARS footage, there was an emotional rush that was impossible to quantify. It felt like someone had given me permission to feel the same rush I’d gotten as a seven-year-old again, almost like a chemical high. The actual images in that trailer, though, meant nothing. Gungans and battle droids and all sorts of things we’d never seen before. This time, we’re seeing Vader and THE DUEL and Sidious with a lightsaber… stuff that feels like the stuff we’ve been waiting to see since about 1980. I honestly feel like EPISODE III is going to be something special, and May can’t get here fast enough.

Herc: Do you like this trailer?

Mr. Beaks: I do. I think it’s effective. How long is it? A minute? A minute-fifty? There’s not enough time to fuck anything up.

Frosty: There’s ten of us in the room right now. Show of hands – how many of us didn’t enjoy the trailer?

Herc: We have one, two, maybe two and a half, who did not enjoy the trailer.

Dr. H: (incredulous) Wait. Who didn’t enjoy the trailer, and why?

Jed the Hutt: Well, um... I thought Anakin’s hair looked great. I thought he looked ridiculous in the stills, but now that I’m seein’ him with the bad eyes and the dark music and mood lighting... now it works. But I’m really suspect with all the footage from the other movies. It makes sense, but the first shot in the trailer is my favorite shot in all of STAR WARS and I can’t help but feel that’s calculated somehow. I feel kind of manipulated. And that’s what trailers are supposed to do, but this seems more pointed than that first trailer for EPISODE I.

Darth Tardy: I think everybody here has viable points. I’m extremely excited about the trailer. I’ve watched it over and over and over again. For me, what it was, especially compared to the other films, EPISODES I and II, is he’s really coming from nowhere with those stories. With this movie, it will tie five movies together. There is that manipulation, I agree with that, but it needs to be there to tie the this trilogy together with the Luke trilogy. The shot of Luke and the twin sunsets, that’s amazing to me. I don’t know if he’s gonna actually have a shot like that. This really is the movie that ties everything together. Judging from what we’ve heard about how much work Lucas has put into it, and watching the webdocs, and watching him really care about how the actors are delivering the lines, which means he was paying attention to the performances. This is the part of STAR WARS that we’ve always wanted to see since Ben Kenobi told Luke that story. It’s what I’ve always wanted to see.

Dr. H: I loved the trailer. It’s seemed like Lucas has been sort of poo-pooing the old fans because we’ve been making fun of his new films. It’s not that he’s been distancing himself from the first three, but he’s sort of angry at us for placing them so high. And I like the fact that he went balls-out, that he started the trailer with images from EPISODE IV. I think it means that he got over that little tweak he had about all the fans and that’s he’s proud of this film. I get the sense from the trailer that he thinks he’s nailed it and that it’s worthy. That being said, we know it’s going to be better than CLONES ‘cause I just heard today that Zogby had CLONES up by three.

Herc laughs so hard he hits the floor.

Myxtplyk: I thought the trailer was just too force fed. It’s like, “Y’all want Vader? Here he is.” I certainly didn’t want to see that before the movie. That’s like the scene where he’s revealed. That’s one of the things I’ve been waiting to see in the theater, but I guess that’s been blown now. Also, seeing Sidious in his pure evil form seems like he’s giving it all away beforehand. The first time I saw it I enjoyed it, but...

Mr. Beaks: What if this is some kind of misdirection? What if there are more surprises that maybe we haven’t even considered yet?

Herc: Do you think the trailer is full of misdirection?

Frosty: I really don’t think they show that much in the trailer, so I don’t think there’s any misdirection. No.

Myxtplyk: Yes. I’ve heard that the yellow eyes on Anakin isn’t even in the movie.

Obi-Swan: I’d say it’s about half and half. The trailer shows too much, but at the same time, I know there’s shit we ain’t seen yet that’s gonna blow our asses off. I’m coming down undecided, I guess.

Sara S: I think there’s plenty of stuff we haven’t seen. I’m not worried about it. And a lot of trailers have shots that aren’t in the movie. It’s manipulation, not misdirection.

Mr. Beaks: I don’t think it’s so much misdirection so far as imagery, but plot twists. Putting the focus on Darth Vader, when maybe the focus of this film isn’t going to be on the Vader reveal, but maybe on something we haven’t thought of yet. Do you think he took that into consideration?

Jed the Hutt: That’d be nice. I don’t think it’s happening. Vader really hasn’t been a part of the STAR WARS experience up till now and I don’t think anyone at Lucasfilm is really interested in doing that. But it would be nice.

Darth Tardy: I don’t think it’s misdirection and I think Lucas is really trying to do it right this time around.

Dr. H: This thing has a mood about it that the other two didn’t... and a confidence. But, hey... it’s a teaser trailer and I feel teased. So I feel he showed exactly as much as he was supposed to show.

Herc: I see no misdirection.

Andre Dellamorte: I think it’s a good trailer, but I think the problems with EPISODES I and II weren’t stunning visuals. Both films had those in spades. It’s the dialogue and plotting that have the problems. I know the space battles are gonna be kick ass. I don’t really doubt that, but will it all connect? I think with the first two films, being awed isn’t enough anymore.

Frosty: We all know Lucas is obligated to deliver a PG. I met someone in England who worked on EPISODE III and he said some crazy stuff to me. I heard they shot a few scenes with some extra violence. This is supposed to be a pretty bloody movie with beheadings. Myxtplyk, didn’t you hear that someone gets their head cut off?

Myxtplyk: This could be wrong, but I heard that Dooku gets beheaded. I also heard that the Younglings are killed, but it’s not onscreen.

Andre Dellamorte: This film is worth too much for him to not get the PG rating. That won’t be a problem at all. I think Lucas will be able to dictate what he wants because he’s George Lucas.

Frosty: So you think he’ll be able to get PG-13 stuff into a PG movie?

Andre Dellamorte: Yeah. I mean, Speilberg’s done it... lots of people have done it. I think it’s gonna be a pretty rough PG, for sure, but I don’t think he’ll have any problems.

Sara S: Lucas gets away with murder with the ratings. ATTACK OF THE CLONES is a really violent film, even if it’s video game violence. I’d have a hard time letting a child watch it.

Mr. Beaks: I don’t want to get bogged down in a ratings debate. It’s not terribly interesting.

Obi-Swan: I remember a time when you could get away with bush and the f-word in a PG-13 movie. Now that would be very nice if Lucas earned that kind of PG-13. If I could jump tracks real quick and make a comment... the sick, perverse side of me hopes that George Lucas pisses everybody off with this movie. He pissed everybody off with EPISODE I and he pissed about half the people off with EPISODE II. I think it would be awesome if he just rubbed everybody’s nose in it and made a movie that’s universally despised.

Mr. Beaks: What would constitute rubbing people the wrong way?

Obi-Swan: Jar Jar, not in a cameo role. Jar Jar with like a hundred little Gungan babies.

Frosty: That won’t be an issue. Jar Jar really won’t be in this film.

Obi-Swan: He’ll be in it for two minutes. Probably as much as Darth Vader.

Dr. H: Do you mean pissing everybody off by making another bad movie or making something like THX 1138? Something bizarre. Something he wanted to do for himself.

Jed the Hutt: If EPISODE III was an art film, I’d see it like a hundred times.

Obi-Swan: Keep in mind, I love EPISODE I. I also love EPISODE II. But I kind of take delight in the fact that a lot of people were turned off by EPISODE I.

Darth Tardy: I agree, to a degree. And I understand. I’m definitely one of the most pissed off people when it comes to EPISODE I and EPISODE II. This time around, I’m really willing to give him a chance because there’s only one movie. No one sets out to make a bad movie. I’m hope for the best. Maybe this will be the film that ties this trilogy to the original trilogy.

Obi-Swan: George Lucas really has two trilogies. His first trilogy, if you look at it this way, was THX, GRAFFITI, and STAR WARS. And then he quit filmmaking for a long time. Now he’s got his new trilogy, which is the STAR WARS prequels. If you compare them, they’re kind of like a mirror of each other.

Herc: (puzzled) Wasn’t the trilogy IV, V, and VI?

Obi-Swan: Lucas didn’t direct EMPIRE or JEDI, so I consider his first three films kind of an unofficial trilogy. He was working through some ideas as an artist and that’s the way he did it. There must be some reason he made those three films that way. I consider EMPIRE and JEDI add-on, commercial things that erupted because of the success of the original STAR WARS. The original STAR WARS is just as pure as THX.

Dr. H: I just had an interesting thought. What if this one turns out to be great and then we can just take EPISODES III, IV, and V and make those the trilogy? And forget everything else.

Sara S: But what if this film is so good it makes the first two make that much more sense?

Mr. Beaks: Impossible.

Sara S: I mean, I’m with Obi-Swan. I love PHANTOM MENACE and ATTACK OF THE CLONES. I think they’re under appreciated. But I wonder if we’ll be looking at young Jake Lloyd in a different light after EPISODE III.

Most of the room doubles over and lets out a pained moan.

Obi-Swan: Lucas has a lot to wrap up with this movie. With EPISODES I and II he really hasn’t answered a damn thing. I love STAR WARS. I think George Lucas is a special kind of guy. He’s genuinely an odd character and I’m glad he’s making movies. I’m glad he’s made this prequel trilogy, but there’s another side of me that wishes maybe he hadn’t. My reason is because he’s kind of re-opened wounds that didn’t need to be opened. As a result, it’s festering. For instance, before this trilogy I really didn’t have any questions. Sure I wondered what Anakin Skywalker must have been like in his prime and what his relationship with Obi-Wan was like, but it wasn’t eating at me. It wasn’t keeping me up at night. It’s likes he’s opened up a new can of worms and he’s throwing stuff in there that really wasn’t an unresolved issue. Maybe I’m wrong and he’s gonna paint himself out of the corner. But don’t get me wrong. I love these movies, I just don’t think we needed them.

Andre Dellamorte: I believe since the last Council, THX 1138 and the STAR WARS collection came out on DVD. Because I’m here, I’m reminded of a passage from Alexandra Dupont’s review of THX 1138, which quoted the audio commentary, where George Lucas said, “Fortunately, I've never made a film I don't like to watch. I enjoy this film; I had a great time making it; it was really my sensibility at the time; it's still a lot of my sensibility. I've just gone off on this strange path that is not at all what I thought I was gonna be. This is really the kind of filmmaking I started doing, and it's probably the filmmaking I'm gonna go back to someday. It's a much more interesting style of filmmaking than I currently find myself in. I mean, I enjoy doing the more traditional, Hollywood-style movies, but I started doing them just to see if I could do it. But these more sort of slightly offbeat movies are really where my cinematic heart is.” And I’m sure he recorded that after having made EPISODE III.

Mr. Beaks: EPISODE III is another one of those films that he’s not really interested in making. It’s obligation. And if that’s the case, and if these films are for the fans, then he already realizes he hasn’t delivered and that he’s got one more chance to get it right. And does he even care if he gets it right? Or is he pretty much, “Let’s get this out of the way and let me get back to making offbeat little films like THX 1138.” Which, by the way, he hasn’t made a film like that since THX 1138, even with all the creative freedom in the world. Had he wanted to make them, he could have easily come out of retirement. I understand he was raising his kids, he had that whole thing going, but...

Someone mentions RADIOLAND MURDERS.

Mr. Beaks: Yeah, RADIOLAND MURDERS. Was that a part of the grand plan? We always heard about RED TAILS about the World War II fighter squadron. And, I don’t know. Part of me thinks that’s him making an excuse to get himself out of it.

Andre Dellamorte: Just saying he wants to go back to it is like the ultimate bullshit defense to me. How much money do you need make your little arty independent films? Why couldn’t you have done this before? Why is it that you’ve had to finish this first? He talks about going back to this. It makes me so mad because this is a guy who can do anything and isn’t doing it.

Sara S: That’s bullshit. He can’t do everything. Not every filmmaker can do anything. We have seen filmmaker after filmmaker we grew up loving, falling by the wayside. I’m talking to you, Martin Scorsese.

Mr. Beaks: At least he built up a body of work. Lucas didn’t even do that.

Sara S: No filmmaker is such a god that he’ll nail the story every time...

Andre Dellamorte: I’m not saying he’s infallible. At least do projects that you care about.

Sara S: Okay, but I have one question right now. If everyone’s so unhappy with the first two films and all this talk about obligation… if he had packed up his bags after EPISODE II and said, “I’m not making III,” what would you have done?

Obi-Swan: I think my reaction will surprise some people. I would have laughed because... that’s pretty funny. He takes his ball and goes home. I probably would have laughed and cried. Part of me would have wanted to see the movie, but another part of me would have been happy that he didn’t just give us, y’know. Like I said, I like EPISODES I and II, but he really didn’t give everybody what they wanted, so if he just took his ball and went home, the meaty part of this trilogy would have just stayed in our imaginations, like it was before he even began these new films.

Frosty: He had to make three films, before he even began. So, this isn’t even an issue.

Andre Dellamorte: Had he not made EPISODE III? I think the success of the first film, EPISODE IV, works because he’s not explaining everything. There’s a lot of backstory that’s left open, and it’s just there, and it’s given away in exposition in two-minute blips.

Mr. Beaks: Like many films.

Andre Dellamorte: Exactly, but he did it in a way that was revolutionary because he was like giving us all these tangents, and we the geeks filled them in later and had all these theories. The problem with the prequel films is that he’s filling in our imagination. If he had not made EPISODE III, I’d be a happy camper because then there’d still be mystery left and I could still have the EPISODE III in my mind. And I’m pretty sure, although I’ll hold expectations until I see it, that EPISODE III will not meet my marginal expectations. I could be wrong.

Myxtplyk: I would have been really pissed because the only movie I really wanted to see was EPISODE III. I feel like EPISODES I and II is all minutia. I didn’t need to know all these small details. He really could have just summed it up. III is the one we really want to see. I’ve got a friend who hated EPISODE I and II so much he doesn’t even want to deal with the movies anymore. That’s his right. He won’t even see III, though, and that’s beyond me.

Frosty: All I have to say is, if I don’t get III after sitting through that fucking pod race... Seriously, I hate EPISODE I, and I’ve come to really enjoy EPISODE II. I don’t love it, but I could watch it without having a problem. But EPISODE III... it’s everything.

Herc: I think I’m channeling Obi-Swan when I say he owes us EPISODE III. Am I right Obi? Would you say he owes us?

Obi-Swan: I don’t think he owes us anything.

Herc: Then I guess I’m not channeling you. And I say, yeah, he kind of owes me a good film at this point.

Obi-Swan: George Lucas paid in full in 1977. He owes us nothing.

That’s my single favorite comment in the entire article, and I agree completely. Filmmakers don’t owe us anything, especially filmmakers who have already given us so much entertainment. George Lucas inspired me to want to make movies. What more could I ever ask of the guy? At this point, it’s all just a bonus if I enjoy the films he’s making now.

Herc: Alright. I think that’s a fair comment.

Dr. H: I think it’s a silly question. But I honestly think his heart and soul did go into EPISODE I. I think when it bombed and he started hearing people say it sucked, he got very insecure as an artist and then started making these excuses saying, “This isn’t what I really do. I really want to do these special art films,” which he’s been saying for twenty years.

Darth Tardy: I agree, and to expand upon that, like Andre was saying, he wants to do different types of movies, but he feels like he’s got to finish this out. I don’t think his heart’s not in it.

Jed the Hutt: When Andre read the quote from the THX review, that stuck in my craw. I know there’s a lot of people with whom that resonated. But it’s so schizophrenic because he wasn’t planning to direct II and III. Before EPISODE I came out, a lot of other directors were discussed about directing EPISODES II and III. Then he decided to make them himself. He had the option not to make them, but he decided to make them anyway. As far as EPISODE III not happening, if he took his ball and when home... I wouldn’t want anyone else directing EPISODE III if he was planning to direct it. So, if he didn’t want to make EPISODE III, I can live with that. I can make my peace with that.

Mr. Beaks: I agree with Obi-Swan that if he had just cut it off and didn’t make EPISODE III I would had a great laugh over that. Getting back to what Dr. H brought up, I believe his heart was in EPISODE I. I’ve said that all the time. I think that was the film he had intended to make and when it didn’t resonate with fandom he was shocked by it. Then EPISODE II was the result. “Is this more what you want?” And I think the fans were... I was one of them at first... I was like, “Yeah. I like this. This is more my speed. I like this.” Only on a second or third viewing I began to realize, “Wow, this is a really clunky movie. I don’t like this.” So that’s why EPISODE I feels like a more honest film. It’s not a film that I love, but it’s a film that I can respect. I don’t know what his small film is, what his next move is, where he as an artist is going. I have no sense of the man. It’s very much like Robert Zemeckis. These men have become so... and wealth does not make you a bad artist. I mean, there can still be something valid to come from them. I have no idea what that would be.

Obi-Swan: I think it’s fascinating that George Lucas as an artist has always had me doubting him. It’s interesting that the filmmaker who really opened my eyes to the artform is also the man who has had me doubting him all these years. For instance, I never thought he would ever go back to STAR WARS. I had made my peace with it. Then he went back. Now he says he wants to make small, experimental movies, and I say he’ll never do it. But, who knows? Maybe he’ll surprise us again.

Sara S: But isn’t that interesting as an artist? That your inspiration has you doubting? I find there’s something reassuring in, not seeing them fail, but that not everyone can get it right all the time.

Herc: Who here thinks that Obi-Swan is the most conflicted man alive?

Hands go up.

Herc: I think it’s unanimous.

Myxtplyk: For the most part, with the exception of Maul, all of these major Jedi have intertwined, ala Qui-Gon trained Obi-Wan, Obi-Wan and Anakin... Do you think Yoda and Sidious are going to have history? Do you think that possibly in the reveal that there could be some history between them considering Sidious may not be the 60 year old guy he appears to be and Yoda is obviously 900 years old.

Frosty: I think it would be very interesting if they have a relationship dating back a long time.

Myxtplyk: Could that be the twist?

Frosty: Lucas does not have the ability to do this. There’s no way that he’s thought this out and is going to connect this.

Herc turns to Dr. H.

Herc: Would you like to see it?

Dr. H: Yes, please.

Darth Tardy: I’d like to see a connection, but I don’t think we will.

Jed the Hutt: Man, the galaxy is getting small. I don’t want to see that. I don’t think we’ll see it.

Mr. Beaks: I think they should be linked because they’re wrinkly. Yeah, sure. Why not?

Obi-Swan: I sure hope we don’t see it. I hope we see a massive clash between the two, but I think it’s a little late in the game to be starting or revealing new relationships. And also I think it would be too hard to explain.

Andre Dellamorte: One of the most interesting things about EPISODE I is the fact that Palpatine mingles with the Jedi and we all know that he’s the Emperor. And that’s the thing that EPISODE III is most interesting, to me... is how they set up and delivered the whole Emperor and his role as a Sith. But that’s the one thing I hope Lucas does not drop the ball on.

Herc: Being the TV editor at Ain’t It Cool, I have a question. Everybody’s heard about the TV series, and it was actually kind of a big deal on the site about what people were suggesting. Who would realistically be good producing the series because apparently Lucas doesn’t want to be that hands-on with it? Be realistic, but of all the TV producers, who would you actually like to see produce a STAR WARS live-action, hour-long TV series?

Sara S: In my fantasy world, J.J. Abrams doing all the action sequences, with Aaron Sorkin writing all the dialogue.

Mr. Beaks: Ideally, Josh Schwartz. I love Lost. I love The O.C.

Jed the Hutt: There’s a producer, more of an artist really, who I think has really touched our lives, and I think if Darren Star is not involved...

Everybody laughs. Quint and Kraken join the room.

Darth Tardy: I don’t really watch network TV. What I’d like to see is him bring it to HBO. It would give it more of a cinematic feel. No offense, ‘cause I know I’m in the minority here and you guys like J.J. Abrams and some of the others names, but if this show ends up on network TV, I do not want to see it.

Frosty: I give you a 100% guarantee that it will not be on HBO. It will be on one of the networks.

Darth Tardy: Then I don’t give a shit about it.

Dr. H: Trey Parker and Matt Stone, just because I don’t want to see a TV series.

Herc: Joss Whedon.

Frosty: First of all, I have to say that the Sith and the City idea is fantastic. Getting back to what Sara said, J.J. and Aaron... oh my god, that would be phenomenal. But... realistically, I just want someone who has an ability to arc the show and has an ability to tell good stories and can entertain me on a weekly basis with an hour show. I hope for the best with the show ‘cause it’s really coming in 2006.

Myxtplyk: Whoever does Deadwood. That show is just amazing. David Miltch.

Andre Dellamorte: If I was combining my two favorite TV shows it would be Ricky Gervais and Sean Ryan.

Obi-Swan: I don’t care. It doesn’t matter. Only the movies matter. Unless it’s gonna be like a reality show. Which I think would be cool if Mark Hamill hosted it.

Andre Dellamorte: What did you think about the cartoons... Clone Wars...?

Obi-Swan: They were cool, but, I mean, it’s not STAR WARS. It’s another add-on.

Andre Dellamorte: There are no expectations when it comes to a cartoon on Cartoon Network.

Herc: I think that’s a valid point. I think I loved it because I really wasn’t expecting very much. There wan’t much story in them, though.

Kraken: I’ve talked to people who have hated the animation style, but ultimately they said they could forgive the animation because they dug the action. They dug the characters. Obi-Wan acted the way they expected him to act. Anakin acted the way they expected. I think what Herc is saying about there not being much story, but if you really think about, there wasn’t a whole lot of story to the original trilogy. I think its beauty is in the simplicity. I’m talking about narrative spin. I think there’s some good characters, but there’s just too much going on in the prequels for Lucas to explain.

Herc: One of the things I look for in any kind of film entertainment is characterization. I found EPISODE IV and V extremely rich in characterization. CLONE WARS was very compelling, but didn’t have a lot of characterization. Obi-Swan, do you like any TV shows?

Obi-Swan: I like Arrested Development. So if Mitchell Hurwitz does it, I’ll be cool with that... just as long as David Cross gets to be a Jedi.

Sara S: What does everybody think about the teaser poster? The initial fan reaction has not been so hot.

Mr. Beaks: When I saw the poster, it didn’t look right. There’s something about it, the framing, it doesn’t look right. Then I saw that somebody cropped it, and it’s actually on the C.H.U.D. message boards, and Lucasfilm should have seen this because it looks a lot better. It actually kind of works. As a teaser poster, they’ve done better. But it’s a teaser poster. There have been bad teaser posters for films I’ve loved. Whoever cropped the poster on C.H.U.D., nice work.

Jed the Hutt: Everything Mr. Beaks said.

Darth Tardy: I really don’t care for the poster, but it’s not a big deal to me.

Frosty: I have no problems with the poster as long as the film is good.

Myxtplyk: Teaser posters mean nothing, but I was underwhelmed. It’s very cartoony.

Andre Dellamorte: I don’t hold it against the film. But, I’d say in the canon of STAR WARS posters it’s probably the worst.

Sara S: Well, what about the first EMPIRE poster? The one with Darth Vader against the stars?

Andre Dellamorte: This is lamer. This is lamer by a lot because that was just an image. This is sort of a twist on the EPISODE I poster, which I thought was damn cool. This one is sort of like the same thing except done in a very lame, photoshopy kind of way.

Obi-Swan: I agree with the room pretty much. They’ve done better. I saw a fake teaser poster, a picture of Anakin inside Bail Organa’s ship where it’s Vader’s reflection in the floor. Again, I wish Vader wasn’t in the movie because their whole campaign for the entire trilogy has been Vader-obsessed. Also, it looks like Jabba the Hutt in his cape. So, I think the twist is that Anakin is going to turn into Jabba. I think a more honest poster would have just been a picture of Lucas, hand out, with the tag line, “Give me your money.”

Sara S glares at Obi-Swan, stunned.

Frosty: That’s crazy talk.

Herc: A very cynical opinion.

Sara S: What’s going on with you? You are a changed man tonight.

Kraken: My comment is... gay.

Quint: It’s funny because my opinion about the poster has been reflected in many talkbacks. I like the idea of the design, but it’s not very well executed.

Sara S: The poster that supposedly leaked was a lot of places aside from Ain’t It Cool. It got some pretty trusted insider confirmation, people who I know personally who I trust. I’m wondering if there was a bait and switch, because so many people had confirmed.

Quint: It’s possible, because if you notice that one of the other “fake” posters that came out, ended up being released last week, it’s what the Taiwan poster is. They probably just changed their mind, is my guess.

Kraken: Quint told me that there’s something about faces in the posters. Is it horseshit? ‘Cause we stared at it for about an hour and...

Obi-Swan: It’s a schooner!

Herc: What do you guys think of the Grievous image that came out?

Kraken: It looks like a piece of shit cartoon, in my opinion. I was really excited after the trailer, but now having seeing the Grievous image, I was like, “that shit in the background looks like a videogame.” It looks like Red Faction or something.

Sara S: I don’t think that’s from the film. I think that’s just a picture they put on the databank. I mean, it’s got all the elements. It looks too clean.

Kraken: That’s the problem with all the prequels. I know it’s from the movie because it had that damn light... that big white spotlight that apparently Lucas likes to use in these prequels. Every single character, no matter what scene it is, they always have that huge white light on the side of their body. It’s like, “Let’s light this scene. Strike the giant spotlight.” That’s one of my biggest bitches...

Obi-Swan: Let’s just launch into an attack on David Tattersall (B.S.C), shall we. Beaks?

Mr. Beaks: Not a bad D.P., but not one of the best. I think he’s certainly competent. However, if someone tells me that shot is too clean, that’s the problem. These films have been too clean. They were shot digitally. They’re too sterile. I like a little bit of grit in my STAR WARS universe. I’m looking at EMPIRE STRIKES BACK right now...


Mr. Beaks: Aside from being the film that makes me still love the series, there are real humans interacting with people. And, yeah, it’s not perfect, but it’s... he’s gotten too clean. No nuance.

Quint: With the exception of the Emperor manipulation stuff, that’s the only stuff I’ve been able to grab onto in the prequels. I think that if, judging by the trailer, if they go where they’re promising to go, then I think that even if EPISODE III somehow falls flat on its face, people will still look at the prequels and say the rise to power was done well. It may have been a little boring, but it was done well.

Herc: I think they should have introduced Vader in EPISODE I, personally. I think the series should be further along by now.

Darth Tardy: We are gonna get Vader, but y’know what, I wanted to see Vader in the suit, as a badass, striking down other Jedi. And we are not gonna get that. Put him in the movie for five minutes, but let me see him take out a room full of Jedi in those five minutes.

Herc: Who thinks we’re going to see Vader wield a lightsaber in EPISODE III?

Frosty: I think we all know the answer to that.

Herc: The answer is no, right?

Frosty: Vader’s in the movie for all of two minutes.

Obi-Swan: I heard a rumor that Ewan McGregor is going to play Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Quint: Lucas denied it.

Kraken: This is my rant, and Quint has heard this a thousand times...

Quint: This is his famous rant. This has been heard by everybody from Don Coscarelli to Peter Jackson.

Kraken: This is my biggest problem with the prequels, and I am a hardcore lover of the original trilogy. My biggest problem is, if they had done Vader right I could have forgiven Jar Jar, but here’s my rant. Lucas missed a tremendous opportunity with Anakin being a slave. If he had just set it up where Anakin was going from one kind of slavery to another type of slavery as a reason that he changed into Vader. If he hadn’t have set it up where Anakin had this awesome childhood as a slave, if it really showed him having a shitty life as a child slave and him thinking that the Jedi were just sweep down and save him, then realizing that he went right into another type of slavery and saying, “You’re all slave masters. Fuck all you guys. I’m gonna cleanse this world.” There are so many missed opportunities that Lucas had.

Mr. Beaks: I think that’s the best description of what this trilogy could have been. That makes sense. You go from one subjugation to another. That’s the arc that these films have been missing because this trilogy doesn’t really have an arc. It’s just been treading water to the point when we get to see Vader.

Darth Tardy: I’m sure we can all make a lot of interesting suggestions about how the prequels could have been or should have been. In the end, it’s the set up that hurts it. The problems are in the fact that he has a main character that doesn’t have anything to do with the story of the other five films. The other problem is that Anakin is a kid.

Obi-Swan: I think it’s obvious why Anakin went to the Dark Side. It’s in these movies. It’s right there. The Jedi are dicks. It’s true.

Somebody throws out the name Mace Windu.

Obi-Swan: Especially Mace Windu. He’s a penis. Yoda is a douche bag. They’re both hiding something. Obi-Wan is distant and crabby. They all suck. The only Jedi who treated Anakin right was killed in PHANTOM MENACE. And then there’s Palpatine, who’s tellin’ him, “Hey, you’re cool. I like you. You got special stuff inside of you.” Y’know, like Dirk Diggler in BOOGIE NIGHTS. I can see why he went to the Dark Side. These guys are all uptight, standing all rigid and don’t believe in love. I do like the fact that by the time of EPISODES IV and V, Obi-Wan has lightened up quite a bit. In fact, he kind of reminds me of Qui-Gon at that point, openly disagreeing with Yoda and more willing to trust a gamble than playing by the rules.

Sara S: If you’re actually going to think about the slave issues, then him seeking a father figure is definitely a better route. It’s still the search for the father figure.

Quint: Well, I agree with that, but I was actually thinking about this because of the trailer and how they opened up with that beautiful Obi-Wan monologue about Vader. But where he said Anakin was a good friend, he was a good man and a good friend. To me, there isn’t any bridge. Where’s the tragedy? We’re not really given much. It looks like, from the trailer, Hayden pulls off the evil amazingly well. I love his look, but how much more effective would that be if liked him as much as we liked Obi-Wan from A NEW HOPE?

Obi-Swan: Do you like the trailer?

Quint: I love it. It’s funny, ‘cause I saw it first without sound. The teaser poster... it’s a good idea, but it’s not pulled off well. It looks like a cartoon.

Kraken: It looks more like fan art than the fan art does. The concept is very juvenile. It’s kind of like the movies... there’s no elegance to it. One could argue that the original trilogy posters look like romance novel covers. Then again, I haven’t liked any of the posters other than that first teaser with young Anakin casting that Vader shadow. It’s a great poster, if only the movie had backed the poster up.


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