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think_anakin

Anakin was cheated of his glory

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Oct. 13th, 2005 | 07:30 pm
posted by: senrats in think_anakin

Let me first make this disclaimer; I am a big fan of all the Obi Wan, Yoda, other Jedi and the entire Star Wars universe. I was extrememly pleased with ROTS and proud at the same time and they are different things, ya know. I was pleased with my first viewing of the "Toxic Avenger" but I was not proud of it as a film accomplishment.

I never felt the potential of young Jedi Anakin, The Chosen One, come to fruition. How could this be?
He wasn't bad or even lower than anyone save Yoda, but still, I felt overall that Anakin's glory was cheated by the script and direction of George Lucas. Furthermore, all of the Obi worship by both George and the fans over shadows the signifigance Anakin SHOULD have. The whole saga is supposed to be Anakin's story and we never really get that.

Why is this?

Is it the script edits and direction of George Lucas?

Did GL allow big name actors to dictate character bonuses too much (mainly Samuel Jackson and Ewan McGregor)?

Was the writing (script) ill conceived?


Well I thought all of the above to be true. Both Samuel L. Jackson and Ewan Mcgregor dictated some of the action sequences to GL. Sam insisted his character "didn't go out like a bitch". The scene would have been more powerful if Anakin hadn't been dishonorable and severed Mace's hands without warning or provocation. maybe a block with his sabre and then a small duel with Ani and Mace...

I know the actors didn't direct all of the choreographed sabre duels, but I felt Ewan pressed for more of an even exchange as opposed to Anakin being the superior. In Star Wars reality, Anakin should have completely overwhlemed Obi Wan, and Obi's only chance was strategic retreat, wits, strategy again and finally luck and will of the force. I think AOTC Obi was more "real" then the never wrong Obi or ROTS.
We should see the wisdom, but also faulty hubris and even some more mistake making, in regards to Anakin. Obi was back to a video game character like the Padawan in TPM; no humanity.


I have further comments on the above, but I will await responses.

What would have been cool to see?
I would have enjoyed more visuals of Vaderkin (pre-suit Vader) destroying Jedi.
Change the dialogue on Mustafar to "Don't make me destroy you" instead of "don't make me kill you"
Anakin experimenting with Dark Side powers before converting; Force lightning, choke, etc...
More of Anakin and Vaderkin in combat... He only had 2 duels; Dooku and the final duel
Maybe some suited Vader action

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Comments {14}

hlglne

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from: hlglne
date: Oct. 14th, 2005 02:08 am (UTC)
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Obi was back to a video game character like the Padawan in TPM; no humanity.


Absolute agreement on this small detail. The whole final duel , leaping from boulder to boulder in the lava flow, is entirely too much like a video game. It detracts rather than adds to the character-drama. It'll be great in slo-mo though.

On another thread, BoDeeWan convincingly argues that Anakin was never able to completely evolve away from the 'slave mentality" of his formative years, and actually was relieved to be under any thumb, even a Sith thumb. In that way, Obi's training can be read as deficient, making his claim to have 'failed' Anakin that much more poignant. It's an NC-17 thread however, so I won't link without her permission.

But in that case, it's not Lucas the director who does not allow Anakin to shine; it's Lucas the writer.

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senrats

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from: senrats
date: Oct. 14th, 2005 04:30 am (UTC)
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I'd really like to read that thread!

I am still vexed as to why Obi Wan was thrown the extended spots with Grievous and Anakin was neglected. Yes, he needed to be alone with Sids, but GL forgot that a SW film needs to "Show" and not tell. We needed more of Anakin the wunderkind so we knew without a doubt that he was a brightly burning star. We are shown this in the "rescue of Palpatine", but then GL shelves him.

What's ironic is that Obi Wan in AOTC showed more drama and depth, yet was the least liked Obi Wan of fans and film viewers. Well I think it was appreciated, but not in the superman kind of way. The AOTC Obi flexed all sorts of character feats and flaws, from exasperation with Anakin, then parental, arrogant and jealous (guarding Padme.. "I sense it too!") and truly humble (and humbled) to Yoda.

I think what disappoints me is the missed opportunities with such a great story arc. You are absolutely right that GL's writing failed it all. Not bad, but it seems rushed and only used as a "script" (yes) to stage and direct the special effects.
There is SO much that could be done within the SW Universe. He also had really good actors, despite the flak they are given. Hayden really is a great actor, but GL's tin-eared vision of the pre-Vader youth is completely unserviceable. There was nothing Hayden could have done to survive first the script and then the directing. Obi Wan should have been shown to be more fallible, yet well meaning. Anakin needed to a higher summit from which to fall.

It all seems to suffer from GL's own "posessiveness" and greed with the SW saga. Had he let go of his feelings of attachment and ownership, much more could have been realized. There would be no doubt that George would be best in the Special Effects direction seat... anything visual and technical.
The film could have been something incredible had he employed expert writers and genious character directors.

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ladylavinia

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from: ladylavinia
date: Oct. 14th, 2005 05:24 pm (UTC)
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I can't believe I'm reading this. You all act as if it's Lucas' fault that Anakin wasn't shown to be the perfect Jedi Knight you obviously wanted him to be.

Frankly, I'm more impressed by Lucas' final product than what you wanted to happen in ROTS.

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senrats

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from: senrats
date: Oct. 14th, 2005 06:05 pm (UTC)
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This is always what I get; I didn't appreciate Lucas's work. I do, but I that the writing and directing could have benefited from having someone else takeover. He handed the directing and some writing responsibilities over to other folks for The Empire Strikes Back and the improvement is noticeable. HE was then allowed to focus on the technology and animatronics aspects along with keeping up with his new productions businesses, ILM, Skywalker Sound and so on.

Come on. Imagine a script by the folks working for Peter Jackson on LOTR and then for directing, enlist Peter Jackson, or maybe Ridley Scott or James Cameron.

George could have still been the overall consult and special effects director.

Why does everyone think that GL is infallible and that no one could have served this movie better?

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senrats

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from: senrats
date: Oct. 14th, 2005 06:20 pm (UTC)
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It's amazing how much we have to infer character dilemmas and emotional movements. This is a credit to the fans who are rather inventive and a shame for Lucas who could have provided all the links the fans dream up.

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katie

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from: katie8787
date: Oct. 15th, 2005 02:19 am (UTC)
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I don't want to sound biased against Lucas, because I'm not really of the opinion that it's entirely his doing that makes Anakin's glory seem downplayed, but there are several interesting facts that point to him having a great deal of influence in the downplaying. In the Clone Wars cartoon series, especially in the beginning of the second volume, there's a montage dedicated to Anakin's victories as a Jedi; you really begin to understand why he's regarded as such a hero. Lucas probably OK'd the scenes, but he definitely didn't write them.

Similarly, in the novelization of ROTS, Anakin's glory, struggles, and character are examined extraordinarily delicately and intimately: his entire rise and fall is explained with such care and detail that you really feel, much more than in the movies, that you are watching the fall of a great hero. The same actually goes for Obi-Wan; his emotional depth goes so much farther in the novelization than you get to see in the movie. A large part of this is probably due to the nature of novels compared to the nature of movies, but still--the book is extremely satisfying in its dealing with both Anakin and Obi-Wan, not to mention their relationship, Anakin's relationship with Palpatine and Padme, and Obi-Wan's feelings of failure not only as a mentor and Master to Anakin, but as a friend. The focus of the novel is clearly these two Jedi, and I'd say it does indeed lean more heavily toward Anakin's fall, because almost all of the detail regarding Obi-Wan stems directly from his relationship with and feelings toward Anakin. Even on Utapau, he thinks constantly, and touchingly, of Anakin.

AOTC Obi-Wan is a lot more expressive and characteristic than TPM or ROTS Obi-Wan, but I think that most of the dislike (in my own case; not that I dislike him, but like him less) comes from the same reasons that ALL of the characters were considered weaker in that film: bad dialogue, strangely-timed one-liners, and general peculiar directing. Awkward acting.

I don't know if Ewan pressed for a more even exchange between Anakin and Obi-Wan--the plan was always to have Obi-Wan overwhelm Anakin on Mustafar. It simply had to be done to allow the Vader suit, etc.. However, again, the book goes deeper into the fighting (you can tell by now that I'm a big fan of the book XD), and explains that Obi-Wan's lightsaber form, Soresu (Form III), is a defensive form, and that throughout the fight Obi-Wan is constantly retreating and giving ground to Anakin, who favors the form Djem-So (Form V), which is an adaptation of Soresu with a great deal more offensive incorporation. Any offensive moves that Obi-Wan makes during the fight, most notably the somersaults and rolls, are slight incorporations of a largely unexplored form, (Form VIII, which is not even considered an official style, of which there are only seven, the most recent having been developed by Mace Windu). More can be read about the lightsaber combat forms here. So basically, Obi-Wan retreated to the much more offensive and powerful Anakin (both out of compassion and necessity), until he had the advantageous positioning that allowed him to make the most of Anakin's unfortunate leap.

I'm curious as to why you would have liked Anakin's, "Don't make me kill you," changed to, "Don't make me destroy you." I don't disagree or anything, just curiosity. :3

I think that in the deleted scenes on the DVD, we'll get to see Anakin, pre-Vader, at least killing Shaak Ti as she meditates in the Temple. Kind of makes me sad, I like her, but it does show Anakin's ruthlessness well: she worked closely with he and Obi-Wan during the Clone Wars, if I remember correctly.

I definitely agree that more Vader footage would be a good thing.

This is a really interesting discussion; I'm glad you started it! *love*

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katie

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from: katie8787
date: Oct. 15th, 2005 02:22 am (UTC)
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I checked my info on Form VII to Wikipedia's just a second ago, and realized that Mace didn't create the form but modified it to created his own style, Vaapad. Sorry about that wee flaw!

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senrats

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from: senrats
date: Oct. 15th, 2005 05:43 am (UTC)
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So Volume II of the Clone Wars is out?
Fabulous!

I guess I feel that Anakin was worthy of so much more. This sounds silly, but everytime I'm near kids playing, I hear them saying Luke or Princess Leia, and very often Obi Wan and sometimes Yoda, but rarely does anyone want to be "Anakin". ;)

The lack of impetus and glory given to Anakin in Ep. II and III contradicts the hype and setup of his "chosen one" status in Phantom Menace.

About filling in the blanks:
The fans, novels and the "Clone Wars" animations do it much better than GL.

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(no subject)

from: anonymous
date: Oct. 15th, 2005 06:41 am (UTC)
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"Destroy you" just sounds more Vader-like. more powerful too >:)

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ladylavinia

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from: ladylavinia
date: Oct. 18th, 2005 09:11 pm (UTC)
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I don't think that George Lucas was infallible. I have a few problems regarding ROTS, myself. Then again, I have a few problems with a good number of films considered among the best by other film critics.

But I do think that the argument that Lucas should have allowed someone else to direct or write ROTS or any other film in the Prequel Trilogy is irrevelant. And ridiculous. This is nothing more than another example of the usual fanboy who tends to view the Original Trilogy through rose-colored glasses. Everyone wants the PT to capture the same kind of "magic" as the OT. And they think of some rather irrevelant excuses or reasons why the PT is inferior.

The Prequel Trilogy was NOT meant to be the same as the Original Trilogy. Nor was it meant to possess the same kind "magic" as the first three movies. And by the way, ROTJ was directed by someone other than Lucas. Granted, it was a pretty good movie, but I consider it as the weakest in the six-film series.

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(no subject)

from: anonymous
date: Oct. 18th, 2005 10:26 pm (UTC)
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IMHO, ROTJ and TPM are in the bottom of the heap.
I never said I worshipped the OT. I am stating that by popular opinion, everyone agrees that Empire was the best. It's not the most fun, but think it was the best written and has the least bothersome dialogue, while also showing some of the most versatile and sometimes funny interactions.

Why is it ridiculous to suggest that the PT could have been better if GL had allowed other minds to aid his dream? He was acting more the Sith than Jedi in claiming sole dominion. The PT are good, but could have been even better with co-writing help and actor co-direction.

To suggest they could not have been made better is to claim GL's work was perfect and infallible. He's a technician and comes up with some great story ideas and created a great universe, but still hold that enlisting expert help with the micro details of the script and actor coaching would have made the PT phenomenal. The films would have surpassed the LOTR films and probably could have been Oscar worthy. The tragic tale of Anakin's fall is Oscar worthy subject matter, is expertly dealt. Unfortunately, only the special effects are Oscar worthy and expertly created.

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ladylavinia

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from: ladylavinia
date: Oct. 18th, 2005 09:14 pm (UTC)
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And why in the hell should Anakin have some kind of glory in ROTS? This is supposed to be the movie in which we see his final downfall. Did you really expect him to defeat Obi-Wan? Especially since it has been established a long time ago that the Jedi Master would be the cause of his disfigurement? This doesn't make any sense.

I see nothing but irrevelant nitpicking in this argument.

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senrats

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from: senrats
date: Oct. 18th, 2005 10:18 pm (UTC)
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I am going to guess that you are unilaterally for anything GL does, and an unconditional Obi Wan fan.


Vader's defeat could have been handled a multitude of ways that perhaps someone like Orson Scott Card could have scripted more expertly. One possible outcome and "twist" might involve Vader defeating Obi Wan, but allowing him to live as long as he went into hiding and kept watch over the children and Padme. Vader suspects the Emperor Sids would not allow or tolerate a Sith family and would harm them somehow. Anakin wants them to be hidden until he can defeat the Emperor. In ROTS, Anakin did reveal that he wanted to overthrow Sids and have Padme rule by his side.

I think Anakin still could have been defeated, yet have glory. There are ways he still could have been disfigured; accidental fall into the lava and more. I truly feel that Anakin as prophesized, should have nearly defeated Obi Wan. He was the aggressor, but there was simply not enough.

We simply do not get enough display of Anakin's prowess and promise. The opening rescue is resplendent with proof, but after that we see no more. I think an additional half hour would have done this well.

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superman82

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from: superman82
date: Nov. 28th, 2005 05:37 am (UTC)
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While i dont agree with anakin not living to his full potential i do agree with the things that could have been shown. We were promised anakin slaying jedi like he did the sand people, it was only a small part. It would have been awesome seeing him as vader before the suit more, especially fighting and using his force powers. But the only thing he could have really done was duel, he never even was trained on how to use his dark side force powers yet.

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