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Old 06-07-2009, 07:02 AM
Star Trek Viewer Star Trek Viewer is offline
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Question When Did Star Wars "Jump the Shark," If Ever?

When do you think Star Wars became less interesting and compelling as a science fiction universe, if it ever did?

Here's one fan's take on it:

http://screenrant.com/direction-star-wars-rob-11924/

So, what's your opinion? Here are some possibilities:

1. Jar Jar Binks
2. Plotlines for the prequels
3. Jar Jar Binks again (because he's just that bad)
4. Pacing of the events in the prequels
5. Midichlorians
6. Anakin as a young boy
7. Anakin as played by Hayden Christensen
8. The Clone Wars
9. Never -- Star Wars is still just as cool as ever

My opinion is that the slow pace of the events portrayed often made it difficult to sit through the prequels. The prequels were just too ponderous and, besides, led to foregone conclusions.

Feel free to select from the above by number or post your own choices, and please explain your reasoning. Thanks!

Last edited by Star Trek Viewer : 06-07-2009 at 07:19 AM.
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Old 06-07-2009, 07:09 AM
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It has never been Sci-Fi.
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Old 06-07-2009, 07:10 AM
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Jar Jar is wayyy up there, but I would add:

The end shot of the third movie, with everyone standing around like it's the end of a Superfriends cartoon. Ironic that they would lose me forever in the last 3 seconds of (technically) the last movie.
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Old 06-07-2009, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Star Trek Viewer View Post
1. Jar Jar Binks
2. Plotlines for the prequels
3. Jar Jar Binks again (because he's just that bad)
4. Pacing of the events in the prequels
5. Midichlorians
6. Anakin as a young boy
7. Anakin as played by Hayden Christensen
8. The Clone Wars
I think most of what you have listed here can really go under a single subheading: the story Lucas wanted to tell didn't go with the style he wanted to tell it in. The original trilogy was built as an homage to the 30s scifi serials, like Buck Rogers, and the story fit that mold. The prequel trilogy was high tragedy shoved kicking and screaming into a mold it didn't fit into. Neither of the actors who played Anakin is likely as bad as Lucas made them (can't say for sure about the child actor, but Christensen has won award nominations for other roles; he was definitely hamstrung by his writer/director in SW). I seriously don't think there's a good way to tell something this tragic in a "light" enough tone for the serial format, which, while it existed for cliffhangers, always had the hero and the people he was attached to saved and the bad guy(s) punished. The prequel trilogy was the complete opposite of that. But I'm not sure people would have bought into it being Star Wars if Lucas had turned it into the serious drama it should have been, either.

While the prequel trilogy was no more created for merchandizing than the original (Lucasfilm perfected the art of merchandizing a long time ago), The Clone Wars were definitely thrown together to squeeze maximum profit. If I owned Lucasfilm, I would be embarrassed by the cheesy animation put into the Clone Wars, especially in contrast to what is in the game trailer linked above.
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Old 06-07-2009, 09:44 AM
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I can't really say that Star War truly jumped the shark in my view. It came very close with Episode I and II, but the third one redeemed it for me.

As stated previously, the whole tragedy didn't fit the type of movies that were being made. It comes off extremely corny in the first two prequels mainly because it seemed like Hayden and Natalie were acting in front of cardboard cut-outs. I can't really watch Episode II at all anymore, as there's nothing remotely important or interesting in it, whereas I can tolerate Episode I if only for an hour or so...
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Old 06-07-2009, 10:14 AM
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Post Lucas bit off more than he could chew.....

Lucas had a great story that he didn't know how to tell.
When he tried to sell it to the studios he wanted to tell the whole story of Anakin Skywalker from start to finish. His rise, fall and redemption. But the scope was too huge to fit it into one film.(Really, in 1976 how do you sell 12 hours of celluloid to a pop culture whose attention span is only as long as the latest Bee Gee's hit??)
20th Century Fox didn't like the anti-hero approach of Anakin/Darth, so they opted for the traditional hero in Luke. It was sellable, and the public bought it.
Lucas followed suit with his trilogy, but should have kept to some of his original ideas. The Ewok's were the "shark" for me. Lucas originally wanted the planet to be populated with Wookies, whom Luke and company liberate to battle the Imperial forces to destroy the second Death Star.

It seems to me that Lucas got tired of the story, He'd have been happy to let it end with Episode VI but he had contracted to tell the whole story. But when Anakin's story needed to be told he made the same mistake that TNG did. He packaged it for children, trying to capture the hearts and minds of a new generation. This mistake makes Episode I unwatchable, Episode II redeems it somewhat by building upon the character and culture of the Jedi, but I think that Lucas needed and Episode 2.5. Somewhere between Anakin deciding to turn to the dark side, and his final transformation into Vader there should have been a dark time. I think Anakin should have been Vader longer, spent his time hunting down and killing Jedi throughout the galaxy, becoming the feared and hated Darth Vader that we all know and love from Episode IV. This would have given more time for the rise of the persona of Vader to grow and develop, more drama in the personal and interpersonal conflicts of Anakin the Jedi, and Vader the Sith. A deeper level of betrayal as Anakin sat with the Jedi, while plotting their demise with Palpatine.
Then comes the final conflict as Anakin reveals to Obi Wan that he is Vader and they then battle as shown in Episode III.

Lucas seemed to be worn out with the story by the time he finished and it watches as though he rushed through the story, just to be done with it.
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Old 06-07-2009, 11:08 AM
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I really love reading everyone's responses above. They are thoughtful and interesting.

I used to really love Star Wars. It's weird, but reading your accounts helps me understand why I am less enamored of it than before. They present things that I hadn't thought of might be the reason.

The comment that Anakin should have been Vader longer is a good one, for example. I think that it complements my idea that the pacing of the events in the prequels was off. In this case, the storyline, as noted in TGElder's post, should have been different, as well.
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Old 06-07-2009, 11:24 AM
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There are soooooo many points I could rip apart, so let me just boil it down to what I specualte to be the root cause of all evil: George Lucas cant write.

He is a producer. Thats what he may be good at. But he is not a good director and he sucks in telling stories. The more he is involved in the process of script development and directing, the more the flick sucks.

I know to little to back this speculation (and thats all it is) up with fact, proof, but I do have reasons: The Empire Strikes Back was good and I do know Lucas did not direct nor write the script. Spielberg says he offered Lucas to direct his Prequels and Lucas did not let him. Also, it was Lucas who screwed the latest Indy movie, he rejected several good scripts just because he so much wanted to have the chrystal skull and aliens in it. The directing was okay (Spielberg) but the plot sucked.

So, I think that Lucas attitude of considering Star Wars "His Baby" led to delusions of grandeur on his behalf. You cant write a rats ass? Then leave the job to people who can!

Again, all more speculation then an informed oppinion.
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Old 06-07-2009, 12:35 PM
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It's like he stole all of Joseph Campbell's ideas and tried to turn them into a movie.
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