MORIARTY Presents AICN's First JEDI COUNCIL!
Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.
So... what the hell is this all about?
Well, I meant to have this up yesterday, but I was in Vegas, where I spent the weekend celebrating my 33rd birthday. The reason I wanted it up on the 25th should be obvious if you’re a STAR WARS fan. That date should have all sorts of significance for you. First, and most obviously, it’s been exactly 26 years since the first film was released in theaters. That date is like a scorched mark, the smoking spot where a cultural lightning bolt struck. It’s also exactly two years from the 25th that we will reach whatever conclusion awaits us as fans when Lucas releases the still-untitled EPISODE III, the final puzzle piece in his prequel trilogy.
All of this led me to recently ask a group of friends to sit down with me for a discussion about the current mindset of STAR WARS fans. If you’re like me, you’ve got a core group of friends you can talk to about all things Lucas. In some cases, the only real intersection between your tastes in film might be STAR WARS, but that’s enough to create an ongoing dialogue.
When EPISODE I came out in theaters, it was a pretty remarkable feeling that had little or nothing to do with THE PHANTOM MENACE itself, a once-in-a-lifetime celebration of the very nature of being a fan. I made new friends because of STAR WARS, and some of my oldest friends and I enjoyed a return to childhood in many ways. But many people felt burnt after the fact, and the dramatic shift in the tenor of fandom that greeted the arrival of last year’s ATTACK OF THE CLONES was impossible to miss.
Last year, just after seeing EPISODE II with a group of friends, we sat down at the Grand Havana Room in Beverly Hills for a post-mortem on the first 2/3 of a story we’d waited half our lives to see. That was one of the very best nights of pure fandom I’ve ever had. Hell, Temura Morrison himself showed up at the club that night and ended up sitting with us to share a few drinks, a cigar, and some friendly chat.
I decided, along with my co-writer Obi-Swan, that I want to start a new regular feature that we’ll hopefully feature here at AICN all the way up to the release of EPISODE III on May 25th, 2005. I’m proposing a regular State of the Union address of sorts. I’m going to do my best to invite all types of fans to sit in on what will probably start out as a bi-monthly meeting for a while before finally going monthly as we get closer to release. Most of these people work in the film industry in one way or another, and many of them credit STAR WARS with starting them down that path in the first place.
Right now, I don’t pretend to be holding any special cards concerning spoilers or details about the next film. Not yet, anyway. Some of what we talked about might be considered spoiler territory, but much of it is pure speculation. As we get closer to May of 2005, we’ll be discussing everything that’s coming in, every bit of news, every detail. I’ve managed to read the first two prequel scripts early, so there’s a good chance that will happen again, and if it does, that will certainly be fodder for conversation. Harry told me recently that he doesn’t want to report on STAR WARS at all this time around, and that just depresses me. This series of columns is all about sorting out what we’re thinking and feeling as fans. These are all just opinions, and hopefully our discussion will encourage you to contribute in TalkBack as well.
We met around 7:30, and all ended up seated around a long table, where we spent almost two hours in a boisterous, sometimes out-of-control conversation, the highlights of which are featured below:
MORIARTY: Obviously, it’s a weird time for STAR WARS fans in general. I’ve never heard so many discouraged fans. I think a lot of people have given up. A lot of people are not invested anymore in the STAR WARS series and where it’s headed. That’s a weird situation to be in because we’re two years out now from the last one, and if you had asked us right before EPISODE I one came out, I would have thought this would be like the apex of fandom right now, where people were losing their minds in anticipation. But it’s the total opposite. And I guess my primary question is... why?
OBI-SWAN: Let me respond to that by saying that I have not lost hope and I am actually at the apex.
MORIARTY: Actually, how many people have lost faith?
At least half the people at the table raise their hands.
SARAH S: I go back and forth. It depends on the week you ask me.
JEFF: It looks like six people have lost hope out of nine.
DR. HFUHRUHURR: The last half of ATTACK OF THE CLONES was so cool. If the step from THE PHANTOM MENACE to CLONES is the same step he’s going to take from CLONES to EPISODE III, then we’re in good shape.
JEFF: After I saw the first STAR WARS Special Edition, I did not see the THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK or JEDI Special Editions, because I had absolutely no interest in seeing Lucas fuck up his own material again.
JIMMY D: I like EMPIRE. I watch the Special Editions, but I do prefer the original ones. I have to say, I like EMPIRE the best, but I feel that they went in and certain things were done that changed the movie to a degree that I wasn’t comfortable with. Like Luke’s scream.
MORIARTY: Would you guys mind the Special Editions if the originals were also readily available? Would that bother you as much?
JIMMY D & SARAH S: No... not at all.
BEAKS: He can do with them whatever he wants.
MORIARTY: Here’s a big questions I’ve been asking fans. As original series fans, how much ownership do we have over STAR WARS?
MORIARTY: I know we certainly feel like we have an amount of ownership. We feel like they’re our films and new fans don’t totally get it. Even kids who were maybe old enough to see JEDI in the theater but not the others, we feel like they don’t get it. Many of them consider JEDI the best of the Original Trilogy. I’ve noticed there’s a snobbery about the fandom. If it doesn’t appeal to us, it’s wrong. But then, I talk to kids, little kids who have just seen EPISODE I and II, and they adore these new movies. To them, there’s no issue.
FROSTY SKYWALKER: We all know that he’s doing these “Final Editions,” and I am curious...
MORIARTY: You know that he says he’s not doing them, right?
FROSTY SKYWALKER: He is. There is fifteen minutes being put back into STAR WARS. That’s an absolute certainty. I’m interested to see what he does as the quote-unquote Final Editions and after seeing him talk at The Egyptian, I actually gained...
MORIARTY: How many of us were at The Egyptian? Five of us? We all heard him say that the original version we know and love will never be on home video. They’ll be gone.
OBI-SWAN: We need to keep in mind that George Lucas has lied before.
MORIARTY: Right. We heard him say it, but, again, he lies. He lies all the time.
JEFF: I don’t know that he lies. I think he changes his mind depending on what the climate is.
MORIARTY: Dude... he lies. All of his licensing lies and he sanctions it. There’s a piece in the new INSIDER where they’re talking about the development of JEDI and the steps it went through, and they say that the urban legend of Lando dying in the early drafts of the script was just that... an urban legend. We have the draft, though. We have a copy of the draft that Lawrence Kasdan wrote, and in it, they killed Lando. Y’know, I remember after we broke the story on AICN about Ewan McGregor being in EPISODE I, they issued a statement saying that they never met with Ewan McGregor, they certainly weren’t interested in him, and he wasn’t going to be in the movie. Then they announced him about a month later.
BEAKS: What do you think the motivation is for him to change his mind on a whim?
MORIARTY: I think it’s a control mania. And it’s also a contempt for fandom. I think he doesn’t want fans to have an investment in the series the way so many of us do.
JEFF: That actually reminds me of an interesting question I wanted to bring up. How many people here have bought STAR WARS videos, magazines, comic books, books, and toys? Show of hands. How many have spent over a hundred dollars?
Every hand goes up.
OBI-SWAN: Right here. Easy.
JEFF: How many have spent over a thousand dollars?
A surprising amount of hands stay up.
JEFF: Now, compared to any other movie... even the STAR TREK series... can you name any other place the fans are spending this much money?
SARAH S: I’d have to say that the closest I’ve seen is THE LORD OF THE RINGS. The people who are hyped for the movies spend a lot of money.
MORIARTY: As a new phenomenon, they come the closest.
JEFF: Those McFarlane MY DINNER WITH ANDRE action figures would be a close third.
SARAH: I don’t think little kids are playing with LORD OF THE RINGS action figures.
JIMMY D: Not the way we played with STAR WARS.
MORIARTY: It’s a little over the heads of most kids. My three-year-old nephew knows STAR WARS. He knows EPISODE I and II... he’s clueless about LORD OF THE RINGS.
FROSTY SKYWALKER: It’s all real toy collectors in their teens, twenties, and thirties who are buying the toys.
DR. HFUHRUHURR: I want to get back to the ownership thing. I’d like to relate this to the Dixie Chicks thing... the big debate. The argument is do they owe their fame to the people who bought their records? STAR WARS isn’t a success because George Lucas made the film. It’s a success because we all bought tickets to go see it.
MORIARTY: Over and over and over again. He hit us at a moment when we hadn’t become numb to spectacle yet. Spectacle really hadn’t kicked off. I mean, STAR WARS was one of the things that kicked off this new age of summer blockbusters and giant special effects films. I think that it hit an audience at exactly the right time to get a religious fervor about it where it was everything and those three-year gaps were perfect. I was seven. I was ten. I was thirteen. I aged with the series just right. I think that’s one of the reasons JEDI felt like a disappointment. It wasn’t quite as dark as a thirteen-year-old kid wanted compared to the ten-year-old kid’s movie.
JIMMY D: Another thing about JEDI that was a let down... I was expecting three more after that movie. In an old BANTHA TRACKS magazine, they said there were going to be nine films.
SARAH S: That’s what I thought was always going to happen... the nine movies.
MORIARTY: He used to say that all the time.
JIMMY D: That’s a major let down because when you watch the end of JEDI, you know there’s nowhere to go after that.
OBI-SWAN: Also it’s kind of a let down because if Lucas had gone and made EPISODE I three years later, we’d probably have gotten River Phoenix as Anakin.
JIMMY D: After the release of EPISODE I, Gary Kurtz gave an interview in which he talked about why he and George Lucas did not work on JEDI together and all the problem they had working together on the first two movies. Who says “no” to George Lucas now? Only the fans.
MORIARTY: And the fans get tuned out. I’m banned from The Ranch for life for being a commentator about the STAR WARS phenomenon. I’ve never done anything to hurt the series. If anything, I think I’ve been a fairly vocal supporter of the series at times even when other fans weren’t.
JIMMY D: Why would we try to destroy something that means so much to us? We’re upset because we don’t want him to destroy it. And the thing that Gary Kurtz talked about was that JEDI wasn’t supposed to end nicely like that. The whole time Lucas was making the movies, Kurtz was lie, “no, you can’t do that...” By the time JEDI came around, he was tired of saying “no” and Lucas was tired of hearing it.
MORIARTY: One of the only reason I have a modicum of hope for INDY 4 now is because it’s not really in Lucas’ hands. Spielberg and Darabont are going to spearhead that project and do their own thing. And hopefully Lucas will just sign off on it and let them go.
JIMMY D: An interesting thing you said was that kids love EPISODE I and EPISODE II. What I remember about the original trilogy is that my parents and a lot of older people loved the movies and they still watch them. For them, these new movies don’t exist.
MORIARTY: Like my parents. They saw STAR WARS the night before my birthday when I was turning seven. My birthday is May 26. So it came out that weekend. My parents saw it that Friday night. I was supposed to have a birthday party the next day. As soon as my friends showed up, my parents said, “We’re not having a party. Get in the car. We’re going to the movie theater.” And it’s because they lost their minds. They loved that movie as much as I did.
SARAH S: My mom is still with it. My father lost it. When I came back from L.A. when EPISODE II came out, I said to them, “You’re going to go see it. You’re going to see it on a digital screen. If there’s not one in Pittsburgh, we’re driving to Cleveland.” For my father, it took a lot of convincing. Meanwhile, my mother was like, “When are we leaving?” She still loves it.
JIMMY D: I’ve gotta give Lucas a little bit of credit. I also read in an old BANTHA TRACKS, before JEDI was released, Lucas talked about how the first three stories would be boring. He said they would be very political and have not a lot of action.
OBI-SWAN: And how did they turn out for most people? They’re bo-ring.
JIMMY D: Exactly. He said that in 1982. So, he decided to start with 4, 5, and 6, where all the action was.
BEAKS: These new movies are about politics and intrigue. They’re pretty complex.
OBI-SWAN: But also they’re an amazingly rich mosaic of art. I mean, Lucas is really layering in as much as he can.
MORIARTY: Now, we’ve heard that Doug Chiang and Ben Burtt are completely out of the Lucas organization at this point. Ben Burtt quit, evidently. There was a power thing. Ben wasn’t getting what Ben wanted.
JIMMY D: When Ben Burtt was talking about EPISODE I, I could see that.
OBI-SWAN: In the sound documentary on the EPISODE II DVD, it’s painful obvious that Ben Burtt is growing weary of the process with Lucas. It looked like he was being stifled at ever point. But, then again, the movies are Lucas’s.
MORIARTY: Creatively, he felt like his ideas weren’t making any impact on these films. And I’m kinda glad Chiang is gone. I’m not a big fan of his design on EPISODE I. EPISODE II, like Obi-Swan and I were talking about...
OBI-SWAN: The two guys who worked under Doug Chang on EPISODE II really have the best take on STAR WARS because they’re just like us. They’re basically our age and they saw the original series when we did.
MORIARTY: EPISODE II is more like STAR WARS.
FROSTY SKYWALKER: I really enjoyed EPISODE II. I thought there were moments that I wish to God the dialogue could have been better. But it was a step in the right direction.
MORIARTY: It does make me nervous that it didn’t happen until midway through the only three films we ever get.
FROSTY SKYWALKER: However, I’ve been hearing from people who are in the know. Before EPISODE I, these people were saying it wasn’t going to be very good. Before EPISDOE II, they were saying it’s STAR WARS movie and it’s pretty good. Now I’m starting to hear about EPISODE III from them, and they’re saying that EPISODE II is going to be the highlight. Now, when you hear from people who have been right-on about I and II and now they’re saying, “Don’t get your hopes up about EPISODE III, so start looking forward to RETURN OF THE KING,” then justifiably, you start getting nervous.
MORIARTY: I know some guys who were either Lucasfilm or ILM, who were right around the hub of production, who have just left... who are quitting. And the way they explained it to me was that they got their jobs with the organization because they loved STAR WARS. And now they’re quitting the organization because they love STAR WARS. And they don’t want to be there for a bad movie. They don’t want to be there for a movie they don’t believe in.
SARAH S: Don’t they feel like they should do something?
MORIARTY: They don’t feel like they have the ability. No matter how much they kick and scream, it’s not making a difference.
OBI-SWAN: It sounds like these artists do have a voice, though, because of the story we heard about Lucas wanting to insert shots of Obi-Wan and Vader doing flips and stuff into the classic lightsaber duel in NEW HOPE. They stood up to him, saying it was a bad idea, and Lucas backed down.
MORIARTY: There are ideas he’s backed off of, thankfully, but not many. Look, everyone goes crazy sometimes, and the mark of a good artist is that they listen when someone tells them they’re crazy. Spielberg has done that. He turned to Scott Frank during the MINORITY REPORT shoot and said, “I think I’m going to remake THE SUGARLAND EXPRESS. I was never happy with the original.” And Scott was like, “Ummmm... but I love that movie. Don’t do that.” And Spielberg just laughed it off and never went back to the idea. You wish Lucas could be more like that.
BEAKS: Like the RAIDERS thing... what they were going to do to RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK...
MORIARTY: It’s true. Lucas hates the swordsman fight where Harrison Ford shoots the guy. Lucas, given his druthers, would change it.
JIMMY D: Y’know what’s interesting? I was talking about that scene with someone... a friend of mine who’s Native. And his take on that scene is that it’s a celebration of colonialism and guns triumphing over the sword. I was like, “okay, you have a point,” but I still like the scene.
MORIARTY: It was all sort of whipped together the day of the shoot because Harrison didn’t want to do the scene because his back hurt. Lucas hates things that are spontaneous.
SARAH: I’m wondering if we’re just being too hard on these films. In twenty years, are the kids who grew up on these films going to be like...
MORIARTY: That’s right. In twenty years there will be a group of kids who grew up with this new trilogy, who start to have a critical voice, and they’re going to say, “You’re all wrong. We love these movies and here’s why.” And they’ll defend them so elegantly that it’ll be hard to argue with them. They’ll have a different perspective on them than we do.
BEAKS: I don’t think so.
JIMMY D: There’s no resonance.
BEAKS: Yeah. There’s no resonance. There’s no heart.
FROSTY SKYWALKER: There’s no heart deep down in these movies. They are profit-making vehicles for Lucasfilm. End of story. And do you know who’s talking right now? I am one of the most die-hard STAR WARS fans.
OBI-SWAN: Here’s my feeling. George Lucas has lost his way... but he means well.
MORIARTY: Of course he does.
OBI-SWAN: And I think he truly cares about STAR WARS, otherwise he never would have directed these new movies.
JIMMY D: I have to agree with Beaks, too. It’s simple things like in NEW HOPE. For me, one of the very first things that stuck out was our hero, looking to his future in a beautiful shot at dusk with two suns. It makes my hair stand on end. And there’s not one shot in any of these new movies that good.
SARAH S: I totally disagree with you.
OBI-SWAN: There’s some great stuff in PHANTOM MENACE...
BEAKS: Oh, please...
OBI-SWAN: ... with Liam Nesson. Okay, yeah, Jake Llyod’s bad, but Liam is really good. He’s even Alec Guinness good.
SARAH S: For me, EPISODE II is right up there with EMPIRE.
JIMMY D: The highlight of EPISODE II is the fight with Yoda.
JEFF: Let’s go back to the beginning. George Lucas makes THX 1138 and everybody says it sucks. Personally, I love THX 1138.
SARAH S: I love that movie.
JEFF: It’s really innovative...
JIMMY D: I love it.
JEFF: Then he goes off and makes AMERICAN GRAFFITI. It’s an amazing movie also... photographic innovation. Then he does STAR WARS. Which is essentially, if you break it down, it’s a coming of age story. Nothing more. And it’s about him. The main character is Lucas. Nobody ever expected a sequel. Nobody ever expected anything. So when you look at that first movie, it’s beautiful. But then he made the smart move of taking all this gobley-goop that he had from the past three years of drafts and he got a decent writer like Lawrence Kasdan...
MORIARTY: Don’t forget Leigh Brackett. She beat that thing into shape. A lot of the ideas are hers.
JEFF: All three movies have one thing... even JEDI has qualities of old Hollywood films.
MORIARTY: JEDI has my favorite moment out of any of the original movies. The moment for me, out of the trilogy, it all comes to the moment where Luke screams “Never!” and comes after his dad with a lightsaber. It’s absolutely the most emotional...
SARAH S: It’s terrifying.
JEFF: A lot of the big science fiction movies of the late 70’s and early 80’s, they related to something in reality. And the new movies don’t.
MORIARTY: Why did we need a Qui-Gon Jinn? Why does he exist? It should have been Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan should have been forefront. And where’s our rogue? Where’s our guy who’s almost bad maybe?
JIMMY D: When I watch the original movies, I could be Luke, I could be Han. I could be any of these guys. In EPISODE I when Anakin is called “The Chosen One,” that just shut me out.
JEFF: Like THE MATRIX, there is a messiah and he comes from the most unlikely of places. There is no messiah in these new movies. Jake Lloyd or Hayden Christenson... he’s not the messiah. He’s the Anti-Christ.
OBI-SWAN: I like Hayden. I let him slide, no matter how bad the performance might be.
MORIARTY: Everybody’s heard James Earl Jones blab about, “I’m coming back. I’m back for the last five minutes.” But more recently, all we’ve heard from Hayden and people at ILM is “There is no Vader. At all. You will not see Vader in EPISODE III.”
FROSTY SKYWALKER: I have heard from very high sources, who will be unnamed, that there will be absolutely no Vader in EPISODE III. No costume. Nothing. I think that the James Earl Jones thing is part of the fifteen minutes being added back into STAR WARS. Also, I’ve heard that in EPISODE III there is a crap load of fire.
MORIARTY: I want an answer to Luke’s comment in EMPIRE, “There’s something familiar about this place.” Why does it feel familiar?
OBI-SWAN: It might be Yoda that he’s sensing.
MORIARTY: That’s as big a line as, “No... there is another.” He’s dropping a narrative crumb. And he does that in licensing. He’ll do that all over the place. In the INSIDER this month, Kevin Rubio, who thanks to TROOPS, now works for Lucasfilm...
FROSTY SKYWALKER: He’s actually a good guy...
MORIARTY: Of course he is. The point is, though, he’s inside. He did an article in this month’s INSIDER where he’s interviewing one of the Kaminoans, one of the Cloners, and he’s asking them how they got the job doing the army for the Republic. And they answer that it was their work on a small personal order that got them the job. That’s a clue. He’s dropping a hint for what’s coming in III. That small personal job... somebody’s a clone who’s running around. It could be Anakin, the “virgin” birth. Or it’s Palpatine.
OBI-SWAN: Has anyone heard the rumor that’s there’s a character who’s been in EPISODE I and II who will be revealed as a Sith in EPISODE III?
SARAH S: Yes, actually...
JEFF: It’s Palpatine.
OBI-SWAN: Besides Palpatine.
SARAH S: I’ve heard it’s Mace Windu.
MORIARTY: It can’t be Mace. He dies in the duel. He gets his heroic death at the hands of Anakin. Unless it’s a redemption. Unless he reveals that he’s Sith then feels bad and goes back on it. Which he could.
DR. HFUHRUHURR: Knowing Lucas, it’ll be one of those fringe Jedi Council guys.
MORIARTY: It’ll be the dude with the long neck that sat in the background.
DR. HFUHRUHURR: I’d be willing to bet money.
OBI-SWAN: Chewbacca is in EPISODE III. The Millennium Falcon is also in EPISODE III. My question is, are they together? Has Chewie always been with the ship?
MORIARTY: I think so.
FROSTY SKYWALKER: I don’t know why he feels the need. This is basically a desperate attempt to do something that the fans are going to like. There’s so much more he could be working with.
JEFF: Are we going to get some clarification on the whole midichlorians thing?
BEAKS: Or is he just going to go back and cut that out of EPISODE I?
MORIARTY: It becomes very exclusionary... very Aryan. You have to be born into it now. You can’t become a great Jedi through simple faith. It’s genetics. HARRY POTTER has that problem, too. He’s Harry Potter, so everything will always work out for him.
FROSTY SKYWALKER: EPISODE I and EPISODE II are so different that you can just tell that he switched everything and said we better start over. He needs to give up writing and directing this thing and just be an executive producer. And it’ll never happen so it’s ultimately doomed to fail.
SARAH S: I think he’s angry.
MORIARTY: And I think he’s getting angrier. And I think he’s become more withdrawn from fandom. And I think his attitude towards fans has changed so dramatically that there’s a pretty naked sense of contempt. It’s like, “Why is it so important to you people? What do you want from me?”
SARAH S: I felt that way when we saw him at The Egyptian. It was like, “I can’t believe you losers are here.”
FROSTY SKYWALKER: I think he dreads being in public like that.
JIMMY D: I have to say that there are parts of EPISODE II that are very STAR WARS and I enjoyed very much. Like the stuff on Kamino with Obi-Wan and Jango...
OBI-SWAN: The stuff on Tatooine feels very Original Trilogy.
MORIARTY: Fans were really optimistic when EPISODE II came out. They were like, “Oh, good. It’s better. It’s more like STAR WARS.” And now it’s faded. I don’t get the feeling that it’s lasted. It wasn’t enough. It wasn’t enough of a fix to get the over the hump and make them believe in part three.
SARAH S: I think they’re too distracted now. He’s lost people to THE MATRIX and LORD OF THE RINGS.
JEFF: I say he should go back to Lawrence Kasdan.
MORIARTY: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Lawrence Kasdan directed DREAMCATCHER. Don’t throw his name out there like he’s gonna fix things.
FROSTY SKYWALKER: I think it’s very important to realize that even now there are people in their twenties and thirties who would work on EPISODE III for free.
SARAH S: He could make the entire movie brilliant... for free. I’d pull some cable.
MORIARTY: If he really gave a shit about STAR WARS anymore, don’t you think Lucas would have realized that maybe he had some deficiencies in storytelling? He bitches about it all the time. “I’m not a good writer and writing’s really hard for me and I can’t do it.”
DR. HFUHRUHURR: Yoda on Dagobah is far more powerful now because we’ve seen where he was in the earlier episodes.
MORIARTY: That’s one of the things I hate about EPISODE I... they fucked Yoda up. The fact that they got him so right in EPISODE II kind of redeems him for me. I was like, there he is. That’s the Yoda I remember and that’s the Yoda I’ve always wanted to see. When he opened the can of whupass on Dooku, didn’t we always know he could do that? Now you’ve seen it and you’re like, “Yeah... that’s the way I figured it would go down.”
JEFF: My favorite two parts of the movie are when Anakin finds his mother and kills the Tusken Raiders, and when...
SARAH S: ... I’m telling you, when you’re an eighteen-year-old boy, you say the most insane things. That’s what makes him so perfect. He’s so awkward and so repressed for so long, that he doesn’t know what to say.
OBI-SWAN: Doesn’t the love story between Anakin and Padme kind of remind of the love story between Willis and Janet Jackson on Different Strokes?
JOHN ROBIE: “Whatchoo talkin’ ‘bout, Vader?”
MORIARTY: What concerns me about EPISODE III is Chewbacca. I love the idea of seeing Peter Mayhew, but I certainly don’t want Lucas to sell out Chewie. I’m genuinely concerned that he’ll bring him back just for comic relief shit and do something like hook him up with Jar Jar and the droids and send him off in some comic relief ship they can just cut to for fart jokes and stuff when things slow down.
OBI-SWAN: I like the fact that R2 and 3P0 are in CLONES, but they remind me a little too much of Wallace & Grommit. If you go back to NEW HOPE, there’s none of that. They have their own original vibe.
MORIARTY: ... this whole thing about, “In EPISODE III I’m going to erase both R2 and 3P0’s memory.” Don’t erase them both.
FROSTY SKYWALKER: Lucas’s failure is complete.
OBI-SWAN: Hold on... he’s not done yet.
SARAH S: The lines are going to be crazier this time than any of them.
OBI-SWAN: You know what’s funny? I didn’t wait in any of the lines, and I managed to get great seats for both midnight shows.
SARAH S: The people who stand in line are a group that’s very spoiler free. I try to tell people tings and they’re like, “No. I don’t want to know.” I knew nothing going into EPISODE II and I was so happy.
OBI-SWAN: Everybody saw Jar Jar in ATTACK OF THE CLONES, right? He was wearing that dress. I think Jar Jar might have a weight problem. Am I alone on this one? Okay. Here’s a better one. Why does Shmi Skywalker hook up with such losers like the Lars family? They’re very pessimistic. They’re defeatists.
SARAH: I thought it was scandalous that Owen and Beru weren’t married, but they were obviously sleeping together.
FROSTY SKYWALKER: Beru is a slut. She got around the campsites.
OBI-SWAN: Remember when Anakin gets up to leave the table, and Owen says, “Where are you going?” And Anakin’s like, “To find my mother, asshead.”
BEAKS: “I wish I could just wish away my feelings...”
OBI-SWAN: Seriously, though, what happened to Obi-Wan? Why is he such a sourpuss? He should be cool. He’s a badass. But he’s a bit of a downer.
BEAKS: Dealing with Anakin all the time will definitely wear on you.
JIMMY D: I was expecting him to turn around at one point and just say, “Shut up!”
OBI-SWAN: The babe factor in the STAR WARS universe is really going up. Ever since the Special Editions, I think. In EPISODE I there were all sorts of cute girls. EPSIODE II, as well.
JEFF: There’s a very simple answer as to why the babe factor is growing. Lucas is a pervert.
BEAKS: Keira Knightley as the handmaiden...
MORIARTY: In the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN trailer, she’s a knock-out.
BEAKS: BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM...
SARAH S: I love that movie.
OBI-SWAN: Should there be a bikini scene in EPISODE III?
Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
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May 26, 2003, 6:06 a.m. CST
May 26, 2003, 6:08 a.m. CST
why doesnt george lucas read what his fans are saying , thats what I dont understand...
May 26, 2003, 6:09 a.m. CST
by Cash Bailey
May 26, 2003, 6:09 a.m. CST
HEY ASSHOLE, why dont you get your facts straight. thats 30 million this weekend not when it came out or total run. GOD your so fucken stupid....
May 26, 2003, 6:10 a.m. CST
by Cash Bailey
Seriously, Harry, I
May 26, 2003, 6:17 a.m. CST
May 26, 2003, 6:26 a.m. CST
by Jon Lee Ander
obviously they are true star wars fans.
May 26, 2003, 6:33 a.m. CST
by Andy Travis
He's not as overtly comic as Jar-Jar in Ep 1, but watch it again. He's a big dog. Don't get me wrong, Chewie's my boy, and he knows when to kick some Stormtrooper ass...I'm just sayin'...
May 26, 2003, 6:36 a.m. CST
by Andy Travis
So certain, are you? Man, why am I reading this, I could round up five of my friends and have this same discussion. Oh, and Padme's pregnant in Episode 3...you got your babe factor in Clones, boys, enjoy it.
May 26, 2003, 6:37 a.m. CST
The movies that make me want to work in the movie industry are the Matrix movies. Come on this is the trilogy we will remember in 20 years because we live in the internet era and they will look back and say: "What did the first 20 years of the new millennium brought us on movie territory which had the most influence?"( Yes, I know The Matri is from 1999) Simple answer: The Matri Trilogy.You'll see when Revolutions is over you'll stop whining over Reloaded which is a masterpiece on all grounds: Scale, Story, SFX, Music, Direction etc. everything is top- notch!!! fuckers
May 26, 2003, 7 a.m. CST
by drew mcweeny
Sorry if I didn't source that one, Andy. I know the FALCON is in EPISODE III because two separate spies have reported seeing it under construction in one of the hangars in Sydney.
May 26, 2003, 7:28 a.m. CST
With this discussion, I have found that several of the concerns I felt with the second movie were pretty much universal, but the one thing I am not hearing is the sense of bewilderment I felt when I realized that after 3 years of hoping for a ramp-up in emotion and a truer sense of peril, the result we were left with could have been scripted for a skit at a costume contest in any Comiccon around the country. The truest problem I had with this film was the plot could have been so much stronger, and to cop out and say it was "for the kids, like the original trilogy," is a serious self-justification Lucas has gone to in this series of profit-matgin flicks. When Episode I has more intense fight scenes and even more powerful emotion than Episode II, then something has happened to his head .. He did write the scripts for his movies before this so we know he CAN write. He simply feels that he should just be able to play with the actors like they are miniatures in a wargame and we should pay to see it. His lack of respect for the story, and for a realism that he held a respect for in his "Space Operas" before, make me think he is simply jaded to what he felt originally, a pretty common disease for Boomers that I know as well. If they could talk to themselves now when they were kids they really would try to punch temselves in the face. They have become as much or more the fascists they fought so hard against. tilting at windmills for not just a hot date's appreciation, but because they felt the windmills needed tilting . If he appreciated film the way he claims to always have, would he advocate gong back and making Rosebud rocket-powered because "that's the place I am in now as far as storytelling is concerned." He knew having Greedo shoot first was silly and cheap and he still did it because the new windmills he tilts against are those of a soccer Mom or PMRC Tipper W**re. DO you really think a self-respecting Democrat thought that Al and she were right when they tried to censor music because their kids might hear it? IF that had been Reagan's bub-a-boo, like the fight he tried against porn, then they would have been up in arms, but since it was party politics they kept silent. We as talk backers and fans(and yes you can be a fan and still be a person) shouldnot lie down and take it just to toe the party line. He raped not just a glitch in a film, but what made Han NOT the hero lead--he took the shot that had to be takeneven though late he showed mercy in not smoking Vader when he was in a his death spin into space. After all what was one more shot from his ion cannon when he could have saved the universe so much Death. It was because it was not necessary to the fight at hand, as WAS necessary when Greedo held a gun to his head. I can follow barrel lines and for the laser beam/blaster beam to BEND when it came out is not just badly thought out, but SSTUPIDD. this movie will determine if he stays stupid in our minds, or if we get to remember his movies the way we always did when we watched them again. He watied sixteen years in between 6 and 1 and he said he waited that long, not for money, but for a story and for a way to tell it best. Instead with the first two movies he compromised story for design andemotion for merchandising. LOTR was borught up several times in this talkback, and I am a big supporter of the changes and risks he took, and I much more the cellmate for continiuty of story between book and movie, since why buy a story just to change it. If you could write better you would not need to buy it. But luckily the changes made are those I would not have believed would work until I did something the people who argued against those changes should do--read the other books by Tolkien and their focus on the strength of the feminine characters, and much more the power of Eomyn in battle in the original trilogy of LOTR books. Bringing Arwen from the background and focsing on Galadriel as much as they did lent a resonance to the story that needed its presence to the overall effect of the film. Giving a strong actress like Natalie Portman such weak direction and weaker dialogue and screen talent to co-star with left her character less important, although she should be the most important. She is the only other connection the second trilogy of films' characters that we don't already know about from the original films. She is the mother Luke never knew and Leia barely knew. She is the chimera of what they needed in their lives to give them closure with ehtier pasts, and for we as a n audience to be cheated of that as much or more than they were is truly the glaring failing of the new movies, prequels they may be but they still neded story of their own. All the cute barbie dress-up clothes dont make for a memorable PERSON, which she could have done blindfolded given the time and material. Much was made of the youth of Jake and Hayden and the lack of their experience and that fershness being what Lucas felt was necessary to the character of Anakin, but she was as young as Jake in "The Professional," and her emotions in that film rivalled the beest performances by females in the entire decade. She was a child, and in the same strength of Kirsten Dunst and Anna paquin, she put out there her heart and we wwere rewarded from it. Liv took a chance doing a movie plauying a "faerie princess," but she had the presence to pull it off. She can act, and so can the people in the Episodes we have at hand from Lucas now, but he just does not let them do so, dose not even want them to. Please guys, you that work for him and read what people say about your films--wrestle him to the ground, dope him up and replace him til he is no more a threat to these films than the brain-dead President Mitchell in "Dave." Doppelgangers are supposed to be evil doubles of their originals, causing harm to their friends and family by changing the behaviors that the people in your life count on you fulfilling--i.e. loving your kin, repecting your friends, and honoring your principles and ethics, Perhaps that was the true "Attack of the Clones"(I STILL get weird "EH" feelings from that title). Perhaps the real Lucas is in the Black Lodge outside of Twin Peaks and the Man from Another Place is dancing backwards in his office between meetings, laughing at the people who love a good story and love more when someone respects and honors them with the telling of it. Show us the respect our money should be good enough to demand. Make your movies at least as entertaining as the PC Warcraft clones that bear the Star Wars logos. Make your filmed characters have more resonance and emotion than the Muppet Babies, a project your Voice of Yoda could help you tackle. The Henson Fellowship can tell stories to make you smile, and stories to make you FEEL. You can to. You have before and you can again. Get the old Lucas out of the Red room and unleash the hounds, rip this story up til it leaves us torn and bloody from its knock-yer-teeth out strength. THAT'S what you gave us with Star Wars. It is what you ave us with Raiders, when you let someone handle the direction who at that point respected his stories too. The greatest irony I have ever witnessed is the hubris of Sarrah Michelle Gellar in leaving Buffy to film Scooby Doo 2, using your great excuse for her shitework in that "kids love Scooby-Doo." Well kids love mudpies, but that doesn't mean they don't like ice cream, which adults like too. What made Star Wars resonate for people, as other good examples of the genre of non coffee-shop movies do, is NOT the FX which are cool to watch, but the fact that there was something tying it together that made a connection with the people watching it. Something in your original trilogy told us that you knew we were not fools or marks, and that we could find it in our hearts to root for the good guys, even though the scar of Vietnam had left this country believing it might not be so good after all. We have our faults and like the characters in good films, we fight amongst ourselves, but like those characters, cruch time clears away the BS and makes us strap on the rusty six-irons and dust off the fedoras, oil up the whips and tweak the sabers til they gleam and hum. We are ready to mount up, give us something to regulate, George. Give us a varmint to string up. Give us a mad scientist to foil. Give us a tortured sould to rescue from his own personal hell and let us in to the Movies again. Don't shut us all out with a few token moments being the only bones you throw our ways. Sitting thru Episode I and II for the saber duel with Maul, the yipping, chihuahua dervish of death Yoda, the flying Anakin, the podrace, the all-too-short Jedi/battle droid slaughter, and a twenty-second shot of clone troopers massing abouard Landed Star Destroyers--that left me feeling cheated tha I basically got porned. wooden dialogue and bad plot threads and horrible characters just to get to the good closeups, Pardon me for being offended at the facial you gave your fans, George. I will go live in the World of Tomorrow(can;t wait for that one) or the ancient prehistory of Europe, and save my imagination for things that deserve it. For all its effect defects, the Sci-fi Channel made two series of sci-fi that followed years of nothing from that enre worht watching. Star Trek whored itself to Berman long ago and we contented ourselves for years with the promise you kept tormenting us with, that your movies would be better when they finally were able to be made. Live up to it .. Doctor these new movies if you need to redeem your self in your own thoughts. Leave us what little of your genius is left and walk away from the first films you made with their original grace left unviolated. Long live the Fighters.
May 26, 2003, 7:39 a.m. CST
by Andy Travis
If it was anyone else, mind you...
May 26, 2003, 7:59 a.m. CST
by Dog Of Mystery
Happy birthday, Mori. I hope you enjoyed your weekend in Vegas. This is an interesting idea -- big group discussions to figure out what's gone wrong between Lucas and Fandom. I personally didn't mind either of the two prequels, but I've stopped collecting the merchandising. Why? Overkill, I guess. I like the design of some of the characters, I just don't feel the need to have the figures and statues and whatnot. The dearth of absolute shit that they sold for Episode I did that to me.
May 26, 2003, 8:22 a.m. CST
You will bow down to the force... BROTHER!
May 26, 2003, 8:34 a.m. CST
Unless I am mistaken, in Ep. 4, just before we see Han Solo for the first time, Obi-Wan and Luke enter the cantina and as Luke strolls up to the bar there is a short shot of Obi-Wan talking to Chewie then going over to Han. Perhaps Obi-Wan and Chewie had met before in Ep. 3. I would like to think that Lucas was adding a set-up that would'nt get paid-off for 27 years, but I know that that is unlikely.
May 26, 2003, 8:39 a.m. CST
by Red Raider
...and as far as Star Wars is concerned, give me the original trilogy on dvd, warts, bad fx & all!
May 26, 2003, 8:47 a.m. CST
This is the most idiotic column I have ever seen on this site, and that says a lot considering some of the savants who've written for it....I always thought McWeeney's sense of self-importance was a little skewed, but to think people would actually give a rat's fat-fuckin-ass about conversations he has about with some peripheral Hollywoodites is just sad and delusional. Seek medication.
May 26, 2003, 8:52 a.m. CST
by TheGinger Twit
I think you guys are a little too hard on Lucas. The man is making some pretty impressive star wars films. But I do agree - he should just be executive producer!
May 26, 2003, 9:01 a.m. CST
Thanks Moriarty.. That was a great read, and i think you've assembled a great team of 'Jedi's' to discuss all things starwars.... you've managed to bring up just about every major fan gripe and concern...but yet i don't think any of it was overdone...i think you did a great job of bringing a lot of things to lite, and yet there's still a TON of room to discuss all this even further...can't wait to read PT2..... GREAT JOB EVERYONE!
May 26, 2003, 9:23 a.m. CST
Myself, I'm not into fandom so much for Star Wars (blasphemy, I know), but if you ever create a coucil that speaks of the merits and drawbacks concerning the films of Eric Red, I'd love to be a charter member. Anywayyyyy...Again, happy Birthday.
May 26, 2003, 10:35 a.m. CST
Check your figures correctly jerk. The biggest reason this great film is falling fast at the box office is because of the R-rating. This prevents many kids from seeing it. Crap like Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones had better staying power because many kids could watch the movie multiple times.
May 26, 2003, 10:57 a.m. CST
by Doom II
Those of you who didn't like this feature about Star Wars...tough shit! Don't read them anymore. I enjoyed it as I am also in my early 30's and wonder how others from my generation feel about Star Wars now. I agree that Episode II was MUCH better than I. There's still some work that needs to be done, but it's getting there. There were 2 "cool" factor scenes in Episode I-The opening Jedi escape & the final lightsaber duel. There were a few more in Episode II-Jedi/Zam Wessel chase, Jango VS Obi-Wan, asteroid chase, Anakin slays Sand People, LONG final battle + 3 lightsaber duels back-to-back....Like I said, he's getting there.
May 26, 2003, 11:02 a.m. CST
I know we can all whine and complain about how terrible the prequels are, but seriously does anyone have any value advice to give Lucas and the people at ILM? I'm quite sure that Lucas won't listen, but we all have to realize that this is probably not going to turn out as we envisioned. So, the best thing to do is talk back, and see if we can affect some kind of change. Also, The Matrix Reloaded is a fine movie. I really don't see what people have against this movie except that it's very popular.
May 26, 2003, 11:02 a.m. CST
May 26, 2003, 11:16 a.m. CST
And I'm just sick of Star Wars. Really. I'm a big fan of the original trilogy, but let this series die already. Lucas seems content to wring every last buck out of the universe he created, but it's getting boring. Why doesn't he do something new? Like those "experimental" films he's been talking about for 30 years. No, we'll just get Star Wars and Indiana Jones ad infinitum.
May 26, 2003, 11:18 a.m. CST
by The Llama
already did this, with this very name, and with a great deal more class.
May 26, 2003, 11:33 a.m. CST
by frank cotton
he is ten times the idiot i already believe him to be. if VADER isn't in 3, i'll pass. that alone will kill it. JUST FOR THE RECORD: the YODA/DOOKU fight was just plain silly.
May 26, 2003, 11:49 a.m. CST
I love that this phrase was ever spoken. Now I just have to get my "Remains Of the Day" lunch box...
May 26, 2003, 11:55 a.m. CST
by Fatboy Roberts
Not that you remember me or anything, but shit, I should have been in on this. yes, it's sad to say and probably even sadder to admit, but as the self-proclaimed "Anti-Fanboy" of Star Wars fandom, I think I DESERVED to be there. YOU NEED ME ON THAT WALL. Then again, the whole not knowing you personally and living in Oregon kinda probably put a damper on that whole thing..
May 26, 2003, 11:57 a.m. CST
by Fatboy Roberts
First draft got tossed. Kasdan never saw it. He got one of Lucas' drafts that Brackett got to see. "Empire" is all Kasdan and Lucas and Kershner. Period. Brackett got credit because she's Leigh Brackett and DESERVED credit, due to all the work she put in over her ENTIRE career, but her contributions to Star Wars were never seen or felt anywhere. Unfortunate, yeah, but what we got has none of Leigh's fingerprints on it. Common miconception.
May 26, 2003, 12:02 p.m. CST
Lucas killed it.
May 26, 2003, 12:02 p.m. CST
Yes, Lucas lies.Just like Obi-Wan lies. It's all "from a certain point of veiw".He makes it out like he's had this Grand Solid Vision for 30 years.I call bull shit on that.Splinter of the Mind's Eye was comissioned as an inexpensive possible sequel to Star Wars.9 movies,huh?What did he have in mind for Episodes 7-9? NOTHING!If he did,he would have at least dropped a few hints by now.I could rant about Star Wars all fucking day,but I just don't have the energy.So as I sit here typing I look at my frighteningly large shrine to a series I've lost alot a faith in,and I begin to question the 26 years I've obsessed I've put into it. All said: I'll still be there for Ep3 on the first day.What is wrong with me?
May 26, 2003, 12:29 p.m. CST
lucas should realize that maybe he`s a good producer and organizer but isn`t really able to direct anymore.(at least the sw films) probably steven should consider to have some serious talk with his buddy... this jedi council thing is really great! you`re lucky guys! not everyone has friends with whom one can talk about movies or star wars *sigh*
May 26, 2003, 12:47 p.m. CST
Don't give a crap about Star Wars, but while browsing this article at work, I noticed a quote made by Moriarty of an American classic, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, which contained some immortal words as uttered by Chevy Chase, and now Moriarty. Long live Chevy Chase! Hands up who's wasting their life?
May 26, 2003, 1:11 p.m. CST
kinda sad but we all know u will all be there opening night so does it really matter?
May 26, 2003, 1:15 p.m. CST
by Silver Shamrock
May 26, 2003, 1:24 p.m. CST
This was a rather silly idea, M! You want to distract more SW fans from AICN, or what? I know all you're sellouts of *you name it*, but I don't care. Just try not ranting on other franchises notoriously, leave us alone. You claim to be a fan of SW, but you are only a naysayer now. The prequels f'n ruled!
May 26, 2003, 1:25 p.m. CST
by The Smiths
I was a huge fan of the original trilogy (although Return of the Jedi was disappointing). But after watching the utter shit that is Episodes 1 and 2, there is no way I will sit through the third. Those two flops have ruined the whole Star Wars universe for me. I used to think Boba Fett was cool, now those films have turned him into a little puss in an Ewok outfit. Now I heard there gonna have Chewbacca, a young Lando, and the Millenium Falcon in the next one. Gimme a break! Lucas will do anything to sell a few more tickets; what a hack!!! These films are even worse than those horrific t.v movies starring the Ewoks!!!!!
May 26, 2003, 1:51 p.m. CST
Just let it go, people, geez.
May 26, 2003, 1:52 p.m. CST
...that i took the time to read that or that adults actually participated in that conversation.
May 26, 2003, 1:55 p.m. CST
The whole "volcano" thing actually comes from one of the novelizations of the original films. I think it is in ROTJ, when there is an extended conversation between ghostly Ben and Luke after Yoda dies... I think it's there in the novelization that Ben describes what happened to Anakin... (sorry, don't have it handy to check.)
May 26, 2003, 2:34 p.m. CST
No one in showbusiness seems to have greater contempt for their audience that Lucas has for his. At their zenith, the boy bands didn't fleece 12 year old girls as completely as Lucas fleeces his sheep.
May 26, 2003, 2:46 p.m. CST
by Big Papa
Whether or not they show Anakin don the Vader suit in Ep. 3 has been one of my biggest concerns. Yeah, I need to see Anakin become evil and wipe out the Jedi. But if they show him becoming Vader at the very end, that will ruin the surprise at the end of Empire! Here's how I would do it: show him become evil, show him wipe out the Jedi, then at the end have him fall into fire or something. Have a shot of him lying there, badly burned, just barely alive. But don't show if he actually pulls through or dies. Just end it there. Leave people to assume, when they see Vader in Ep. 4, that Anakin died and Palpatine found himself a new apprentice.
May 26, 2003, 3:19 p.m. CST
Did I read that right? And the other thing was the "I refuse to believe a character would exist just to be an action figure" comment. Well, this is George Lucas we're talking about.
May 26, 2003, 3:45 p.m. CST
Since when has the amount of money that a film makes been an indication of how good or bad the actual film is? WHO FUCKING CARES HOW MUCH MONEY THE MATRIX RELOADED MAKES? I mean really? Nothing any of you fucking nay-sayers have to say is going to change our Matrix-loving minds. So don't go see it twice if you didn't like it the first time. Jesus. Maybe the reason that you didn't enjoy Episodes 1 & 2 is because you're thirty now and you were a teenager when you saw the original trilogy? Fuckwits.
May 26, 2003, 4:19 p.m. CST
Because he wants to protect his own sanctity, or because he thinks that we, as fans, shouldn't be exposing ourselves to the ultimate chapter of this series? If he's worried about tainting the experience for himself (but allowing visitors of this site to receive information at their own discretion via Beaks and Mori), that's cool, but it really is our prerogative as members of this community to see that information if we so choose. Unless you wanna pull a George Lucas and take our input away from us (I kind of understand where he's coming from, by the way, but still think he should consider releasing the original trilogy). By the way, respect to Mori. Just as the group started to reveal their true colors, he steered the conversation back into something that fit the criteria of credibility. Cameltoe -- yeesh....
May 26, 2003, 4:31 p.m. CST
Remember the confusion over Vader betraying and murdering Luke's father in Empire? But wait, Vader IS his father... hmmm. HELLO?! If Lucas plans to drop a bomb relating to clones, it's related to that. He has an opportunity to build on the metaphoric "murder" with an actual event, perhaps even adding new layers to the concept of technology destroying life. I don't know about you guys, but the Anakin I saw in Episode II was a confused, arrogant brat. He wasn't genuinely dark, he was just going through his teenage years, and frankly, I STILL couldn't see him as the same person who ends up force-choking people and chopping his kid's hand off. Lucas has proven time and again, ever since fucking Greedo shot first, that he isn't capable of going to a place dark enough to write Anakin's fall from grace. In Ep II we got, what, maybe 2 minutes devoted to his mother's death and slaughtering the sand people? It felt like a side note, and his talk with Amidala afterwards was gag-inducingly bad. "Not just the men... but the WOMEN... and the CHILDREN!" It was overwrought, trite, and completely impossible to sympathize with. Honestly, that's all I've ever wanted from Anakin was a kid we could indentify with and sympathize with; someone who gets lost on his way growing up, gets hurt a little bit too badly and turns dark and cynical. Isn't that what the end of Jedi is all about, the redemption of a man who never believed he could be saved? I'd really like Episode III to be some incredible piece of drama, but I can't anymore. I've lost the dream. I survived Episode I and gave George a little too much credit, I think. Episode II was a sloppy piece of shit with a few good action bits here and there. I might still see Ep 3 on opening night... maybe not. It's not the story I loved as a kid.
May 26, 2003, 5:20 p.m. CST
Dropping to second place was the Matrix sequel with an estimated $37.2M over the Friday-to-Sunday span. The Warner Bros. picture fell a steep 60% from its three-day bow of $91.8M and boosted its 11-day cume to $201.1M. That makes Reloaded the second fastest film to cross the double century mark after Spider-Man which took only nine days last May. Although sci-fi sequels generally attract much of their audience on opening weekend and experience large sophomore drops, the decline for Reloaded was especially sizable. The Keanu Reeves pic debuted on a Thursday taking business from hard-core fans out of the traditional weekend frame, and this weekend was part of a holiday session when overall moviegoing rises. By comparison, X2: X-Men United had a better second weekend with $40M. Last year, Star Wars Episode II witnessed a healthier 40% drop and grossed $47.9M over the three-day span pushing its 11-day cume to $189.2M. As of last Sunday, Reloaded was running 22% ahead of Episode II after the same amount of days. One week later, the lead has been cut to just 6%. At its current pace, The Matrix Reloaded should approach the $300M domestic level, but will probably need the June 6 Imax release to help it get across. Damn...so even AOTC will make more!!!! Haha...what a joke
May 26, 2003, 5:57 p.m. CST
Any word on the legend that is? I hear that OJ Simpson is in the running, but will only be required for 3 weeks shooting.
May 26, 2003, 7:05 p.m. CST
Mori is my favorite reviewer by far on AICN. But is it me or did Mori say a year or so ago "I'm staying spoiler free for episode 3!". No trailers, no scoops, no spoilers... nothing. Going into it completely unaware. After reading this... guess not. Damn, I was standing behind him on that one too as I was going to go into it spoiler free. I did with Matrix Reloaded and it paid off big time... no hype really helps enjoying a film a lot. It's like having multiple orgasms.
May 26, 2003, 8:16 p.m. CST
Alright, is it just me or does Ep. 3 totally hinge on Palpatine's final temptation of Anakin? IMHO this is some potential dialogue for this scene: "The Jedi took you away from your mother; the Jedi are taking Padme away form you, the Jedi are weak, I can show you real power, etc." This scene pretty much has to occur in the middle of Act 2 b/c it is really the point of no return in terms of script writing. (hope your listening lucas! haha) BTW, i am a long time reader first time poster...any feedback is welcome.
May 26, 2003, 8:45 p.m. CST
by Randall Flagg
Moriarty, I thought I remember reading a while back that you were going to stay 100% spoiler free on Episode 3, yet here you're saying you'll probably end up with a script a lil early. Did I imagine you saying that, was it Harry, or none of the above?
May 26, 2003, 8:52 p.m. CST
Matrix's take this weekend would be a spectacular opening for most R rated films, even very successful ones like Total Recall or Robocop. Last time I checked, it topped or is in a close second for every box office category as far as opening weekend, etc.... it loses some steam to Jim Carrey, who last I checked was enormously popular, and Matrix is somehow a "failure"? Can I have some of the drugs you Matrix-naysayers are smoking? And even if you didn't like the film, I can't believe there are people who can't find anything positive to say about it. It isn't f*cking Frankenhooker people, no matter what you think.
May 26, 2003, 9 p.m. CST
Wow, I'll look for the next one of these right around the time we see the rest of the top movies of the 90's from Mort. The next time he follows through on something, it'll be the first.
May 26, 2003, 9:11 p.m. CST
Face it kids, I just got back from my second viewing of Reloaded, and it gets better, smarter, and much more respectful of my ADULT mind than Darth Plaidshirt could even aspire to. I waste no breath trying to convince those who didn't get sucked in to the Matrix; it's like trying to convince Christians that their beliefs are bunk or Republicans that their office monkey is the worst "president" ever. That said, there are two things no one seems to consider that Matrix dropped so much in favor of this "Bruce" thing; one, Matrix opened on something like 4000 goddamned screens; practically everyone has already seen it that first weekend because they could. Second, Bruce is a hit because the American people are, generally speaking, stupid fucking idiots. So Sayeth I.
May 26, 2003, 9:27 p.m. CST
...who really gives a shit what I think anyway? And besides, it would take too long, and I'd just get really, really pissed at the end. I'll just say this. I liked Phantom Menace for the most part. Lloyd and Portman's acting sucked, Jar Jar was annoying, but that didn't ruin the movie for me. Attack of the Clones was the most disappointing movie I ever saw in my life. I guess I had bought too much into the ads and said, "This looks awesome." But I just felt letdown. The script sucked, the battles were awesome, the acting was good except for Portman and Christensen. I understand how Christensen could be acting like that because, well that's how an 18 year old really does act, but it just wears thin. Also, if we never see Vader in Episode III, what the hell? That won't make any sense at all. Anyhoo, if someone wanted to know my thoughts they could e-mail me but like I said, who cares what I think?
May 26, 2003, 9:33 p.m. CST
Go to www.supershadow.com, there you'll find your Episode III answers.
May 26, 2003, 9:59 p.m. CST
Here is the bottom line: The dialogue, acting, and storytelling are crap. Complete crap. Yes, there are all kinds of kids watching these movies with stars in there eyes. But unlike our trilogy, they will look back on this trilogy and see how stilted and wooden everything about these movies really are. You can defend these new "flicks" till the cows come home. But I don't care what kind of FANBOY you are, you can't deny how bad this moviemaking truly is. You can close your eyes, cover your eyes all you want. But these movies are inexcusably horrible. George Lucas is the Michael Jackson of movie-making. At least, that's the best comparison I can making when trying to quantify how OUT OF TOUCH he is with his audience. Same as Michael Jackson.
May 26, 2003, 10:20 p.m. CST
This may have been covered in the talkbacks, but there are just too many for me to read. The mention of Anakin falling into a volcano comes from the novelization of the original trilogy. I don't remember which one it is in, but I do recall seeing it in there.
May 26, 2003, 11:31 p.m. CST
The only recent genre work I would say bests this wonderful chapter in the Star Wars saga would be the Fellowship Of The Ring. Fuck all the haters. If you dislike the prequels, move the fuck on. There's just as much good acting/bad acting, good pulpy dialogue/bad pulpy dialoge, comedic moments, and whining as any SW film. I think people just miss the intensity of the Empire, and are allowing that to ruin the prequels for themselves. But it's SW through and through.
May 27, 2003, 12:31 a.m. CST
Matrix Reloaded was one of those movies that anyone with just a casual interest wouldn't fully "get" ... I think that's great because I am sick of movies that dumb down everything for the sake of the casual movie watcher. I hate when movies get dumbed down or otherwise are inconsistent for the sake of the average joe. For example, it pissed me off in the second Superman movie how that sewer cap that was thrown at him appeared to hurt him. Matrix Reloaded didn't sell out on a single point for the sake of pleasing the non-fan. After I saw the movie the first time, I knew that it would have a drag on it's box office because of that choice. We are lucky they stuck to their principles ... because that's rare. Case in point, Attack of the Clones. Attack of the Clones did several things to "ruin" everything we already knew about Star Wars. 1) Why did they have more sophisticated weapons than in the future? Like when that seeker missle was fired at Obi-Wan's ship. 2) If Uncle Owen already met R2D2 and C3PO in Episode II, why did he not recognize them in Episode IV. 3) That guy that was supposedly the guy that all the storm troopers are clones after. Well, his voice isn't cool, dark deep or intimidating like the very manly and scary Stormtrooper voices in 4,5,6. I heard the early bad reviews for Attack of the Clones and was "determined" to try real hard to like it I saw the movie. But as hard as I tried, it was flat out god-aweful crappy. I was very disappointed in Attack of the Clones with the bad acting and everything. It had no heart.
May 27, 2003, 12:39 a.m. CST
In addition to my list above<br>I was disappointed with AOTC computer generated characters. The lightsaber fighting "Yoda" didn't look very convincing to me ... Yoda in that scene looked about as a real as the Hulk does in the movie previews.
May 27, 2003, 12:49 a.m. CST
I was a big fan of the original Matrix. Saw it opening night, three times in theaters, and bought the DVD the day it came out. I consider myself to be an intelligent, thoughtful person. I've taken several classes in social and political philosophy. I've taken courses in religion. Combine all of that, and I must've loved the new Matrix movie! Wrong. Look, nothing against the film or its followers, but it's just not right for you to call everyone who doesn't like the film dumb. Perhaps they just didn't dig it, quite like me. The movie didn't click for me, and I have no desire to see it again. Also, those who say that the Wachowski's stuck to their guns and made a risky, smart movie not for the casual moviegoer could not be more incorrect. The movie is marketed and aimed at several audiences, especially teens and young adults that like ACTION MOVIES. Add in the Cadillac, Heineken, and Powerade promotions and you've got a hella commercial piece of work. By the way, I don't know what Moriarty is aiming at here but I can't believe he's posted two articles that feature nothing but Star Wars fans bitching. Ain't it COOL? Ain't it!
May 27, 2003, 1:47 a.m. CST
Alrighty, lets get down to it. 1) Why did they have more sophisticated weapons than in the future? Like when that seeker missle was fired at Obi-Wan's ship. Not sure actually, Lucas seemed to allow all the designs of the new trilogy to look much more sophisticated than the old trilogy stuff, but you can probably write that off to the Empires'(Republic's) stuff always looked badassed and the Rebels stuff sucked ass as per usual... but thats all I got for that question. 2) If Uncle Owen already met R2D2 and C3PO in Episode II, why did he not recognize them in Episode IV. Good point, I wondered this too, my best answer is Uncle Owen is a twat who doesn't care for anything and seems to take everything for granted( including his wife). Droids seem rather seem like they'd be taken for granted even more so, so Owen probably thinks a droid is a droid. But hear me out, Lucas is truly a dick and its probably just shoddy writing. 3) That guy that was supposedly the guy that all the storm troopers are clones after. Well, his voice isn't cool, dark deep or intimidating like the very manly and scary Stormtrooper voices in 4,5,6. Stormtroopers never had deep intimidating voices, they were patsys(and very generic sounding anyway). Besides, the new generation of storm troopers are decendants(read 20 years in the future) of the old clones and they would definately not neccesarily look or sound the same as good ol' jango. By the by, your comments on Reloaded seem a little offbase, you seem to neglect glaring problems with the movie(Rave scene, love scene, unfeeling/unkinetic fights w/bad scoring in those spots, and an overall lack of pacing early on. Don't get it f'ed up, I think it picks up well after they meet up with the oracle, and the Freeway stuff is masterful, but I don't get blinded by the pizzaz, there are some probs. And for me, that meant that I didn't enjoy Reloaded as much as the highly inovative Matrix. Somebody two or three posts up from pointed out someother things that made alot of sense too.
May 27, 2003, 3:40 a.m. CST
by jules windex
Nice topic idea Moriarty, but we have these talkbacks for nonstop Lucas bashing. Yeah, like the Wachowski's aren't egomaniacs too. People need to stop bitching about the special editions. Sure, the ROTJ musical number is hideous, but otherwise most of the changes are so small that only nitpicking fools could complain much.
May 27, 2003, 6:53 a.m. CST
by Commando Cody
I'll cut to the chase: This had to be the most fucked up column I've seen at AICN in a long time -- and of late there have been some TRULY fucked up, waste of space, "we deserve the time we wasted from our lives reading them" columns here. Great, so now Moriarity sits around with some of truly most pitiful sounding dweebs I've seen yet, all so they can bag on Lucas for simply doing the most horrible of evils...using HIS own money to make HIS movies entirely HIS way. And GOD FORBID Lucas should control the direction on a franchise he only FUCKING CREATED! Dear God, what a pathetic group of whiners you all come off as...geeks who will never amount to much in life until you leave your parents' basement and all get laid. But why pick on the geeks, they just got conned into talking. The ring leader here is Moriarity who seems to think anyone -- particularly Lucas or anyone in Hollywood -- actually gives a flying fuck what he has to say. I agree with the poster above who said Moriarity is more and more losing it in terms of his sense of inflated self-worth. But that's okay... soon McWeeney will lead us all to the promised land of GOOD Hollywood writing with -- what was it again? Mortal Kombat 3 or some other lame ass piece of shit that someone was actually stupid enough to let him try a hand at? Yes, I'm sure Moriarity has SUCH a better grasp on what STAR WARS should be then Lucas. Excuse me while I go drink several long island iced teas so I can try to wipe the assine taste of this column from my mouth and brain.
May 27, 2003, 9:31 a.m. CST
by Ray Garraty #47
May 27, 2003, 12:11 p.m. CST
Despite all the backlash, I think Moriarty's new series will be interesting for Star Wars fans, as well as ex-Star Wars fans like myself. I remember seeing Ep. 4 in theatres and loving it, growing up with its themes and characters stuck in my head during my teenage years, so I'm not an outsider here. That said, I feel I've been let down and slapped around by George in the worst way imaginable with the release of his two new films. In all honesty, his film's have moved beyond my contempt into the darker territory of indifference. I don't CARE what happens in the third film. Nevertheless, I am interested to find out what other people in my generation think at this point. Are they feeling as bitch-slapped by Lucas as me? Apparently, they are. Good to know. Thanks, Moriarty.
May 27, 2003, 12:54 p.m. CST
by Mark Dentari
I'm glad to see that some people are talking whats wrong with the Star Wars in a constructive way. Maybe the right people will listen now.
May 27, 2003, 2:08 p.m. CST
I keep hearing speculation that Naboo will be destroyed in Episode III, and I have to comment on that! I'm a beta-tester for Star Wars Galaxies, which must meet Lucas' criteria of being within the storyline he's laid out, and takes place chronologically shortly after the Battle Of Yavin, when Luke destroyed the first Death Star. I can't talk about it much (rules of being a Beta) but I *can* tell you that Naboo is not destroyed in the Rebellion era. It's there. The people of Naboo aren't resisting Imperial rule, and the planet is not dead or destroyed. So put that one out of your head. Lucas isn't going to destroy Naboo.
May 27, 2003, 2:21 p.m. CST
Thanks, Mort, for this talkback venue. There are a lot of people who get quite emotional over this franchise and need a forum for discussion. From the excerpts from your meeting I can tell that you and your experts get just as excited about Star Wars as I and my fellow nerd-friends do. There are always people on talkbacks like this that say,
May 27, 2003, 4:46 p.m. CST
To wrap everything up in a nice little package, I'll say this: Matrix Reloaded was an excellent movie, and any stupid nerd who has a problem with that can bite me. People are only pissing on that movie because they want to see it fail. People keep saying: well, it's not as good as the first one... ah, shut up! It's only not as good because it doesn't have the mystery the first one had: we already know what the Matrix is so theres no big surprise there. But Reloaded did manage to introduce many other mysterious elements to perk interest for Revolutions. I'd go on, but I want to get around to talking about Star Wars. The original trilogy: fantastic set of movies. I even liked Jedi and fuck anyone who disses it. "It was full of muppets..." ah shut up. The final confrontation between Luke, Vader, and the Emperor made it all worthwhile. Vader's turn to the good side was an awesome scene and the most underrated. Even though he had a mask on, you could see his indecision as his son is being killed by his master. The prequels: they suck. They have no soul to them. Both actors that played Anakin were horrible, most of the characters are boring, and frankly, I'm looking forward to seeing the Jedi eradicated in Episode III. The only saving grace in Episode II was the Yoda fight, Jango Fett, and a less cardboard Obi-Wan. I felt embarrassed for Hayden Christianson because several people actually snickered as his performance when i watched the movie in theaters. That's gotta hurt! Okay, i"m done
May 27, 2003, 6:43 p.m. CST
All of you.
May 27, 2003, 8:02 p.m. CST
Hey Moriarty, who gives you the authority to decide who is a real Star Wars fan and who is not! I was seven years old in 1977 when the first Star Wars came out just like you and I not only love the Original Trilogy, but I also love the Prequels, I believe that makes me a true fan. Moriarty, I find it interesting that you start this forum off in a sentimental way, then you and your friends call Lucas a liar and say that key people involved in the Episode III production including Ben Burtt have quit because they are tired of Lucas. This is BULLSHIT! Ben Burtt did not quit, he is still very much a part of Episode III. You also talk about how sources say that Darth Vader will not appear, and that people involved with Episode III have quit because Lucas is ruining the Saga and that the movie will suck, and you say it all like you know it as fact, you don't know Jack Shit about Episode III! Instead of announcing rumours from Jealous people who want to ruin Lucas's reputation, you should hold back untill the movie is actually released before you trash it, but then again maybe you are a Liar just like you accuse Lucas of being. This Web Site has a lot of good information, but you Moriarty, are just part of the disinformation campaign to make the Prequels look bad and topple Star Wars from the hearts of moviegoers. George Lucas will have the last laugh, and those of us fans who have been faithfull through the WHOLE Saga will be rewarded with the completion of the Greatest Saga in Cinematic history! My opinion? sure, but that is all I care about as a movie fan. A majority of people's opinions on this Website about the Star Wars Prequels are negative, I am just trying to balance it out. Come May 2005 the Star Wars Bashers failure will be Complete!
May 28, 2003, 12:50 a.m. CST
THIS POST IS IN RESPONSE TO THE MAIN "JEDI COUNSEL" ARTICLE ABOVE NOT ANY POSTS HERE ( I havent readem I went right down here to post because) Ive been all about AICN.com for 6 months now, since I got my computer. Great site its on my favorites list, check it everyday. I actually took some of your opinions and ides and reviews seriously. And now this. George Lucas. You people diagnose the man "hes angry", call him a pervert at one point, mailgn the man in everyway pertaining his profession. And then some personally to boot. George Lucas came up with a series of movies to bake your cake for a lifeime, some badass shit. Really. Star Wars ANH was GLs baby, the best one, the foundation, the vibe and flavor, for STAR WARS. DOnt give us that co-writer JEDI excuse. He gave us all (you included) cinematic moments that have forever changed your life. And this his all the respect you have? Its like youre getting off on your own disrespect. And you call yourselves SW "fans". And concerning the matter with his relationship with the "fans", with fans like you who needs enemies? You people should be ashamed of yourselves.
May 28, 2003, 12:56 a.m. CST
"part of the disinformation campaign to make the Prequels look bad and topple Star Wars from the hearts of moviegoers"....BWAAAHAHAHHAHA!! Campaign? What frickin' CAMPAIGN?? There need be no campaign of any kind by anyBODY to make the prequels look (and FEEL)like complete shit, they do a damn fine job on their own thanks! Dude really, get a grip. The only one toppling Star Wars in the hearts of moviegoers is the plaid-shirted Frankenstein himself. He obviously started hating his monster when the fans became what they did (insane, that is) and now he wants to kill it. Well, he's doing a damn fine job too; I used to live and breathe Star Wars (I am the same age as Moriarty)...now I wipe my ass with it. Fuck George Lucas. PS:Reloaded fuckin' rocked. You just don't understand.
May 28, 2003, 1:18 p.m. CST
Simply awesome. Better than bomb in his ribcage or sexiest tomboy beanpole on the planet. Not as good as drinks a beer and cheets on his wife, though.
May 28, 2003, 2:02 p.m. CST
No... I'm telling you Naboo just after the Battle of Yavin is FINE. There's nothing destroyed. The Gungans all live there and mingle with the others in the cities. All the major cities look much as they did during Padme's time. The Imperials have headquarters sprinkled here or there, but it is otherwise the same Naboo with the same moons and the same cities. Just because we never see a Gungan or visit Naboo in a galaxy full of habitable planets during the rebellion era stories doesn't mean it no longer exists... It's just no longer relevant to the story.
May 29, 2003, 10:01 a.m. CST
You wanna know why the prequels are complete and utter crap? 1 word says it all - "MIDICHLORIANS". What the fuck was George Lucas thinking when he came up with that shit? To me, thats even worse than Jar Jar. As someone kindly pointed out before, GL by his own admission knows he can't write nor direct for shit. Harrison Ford hit the nail on the head when he told GL that "You can write this shit, but you cant say it"; i think that pretty much describes the better part of the dialogue in the prequels. No doubt some hardcore fan will try to shift blame onto the shoulders of the actors but if u've seen the likes of Shallow Grave,Schindlers List and Pulp Fiction you'll know this can't be the case. Perhaps if you saw the entire Star Wars saga as movies instead of a philosophy you too would realise the new saga is awful. Now lets go to the other argument, to those people who think Star Wars has been ruined by the prequels i say this: YOU CANNOT RUIN A MASTERPIECE OF CINEMA - and dont bullshit anyone that you wont go see EP III... i'll be there on opening night and i'll bet you will be too...we can't resist. . now finally for the matrix fanboys who've been in here. You have no room to complain or call anyone in here fanboys, reloaded suffers the same problems as the prequels...it's a shitfest, if it was any good the people who liked the film wouldnt be endlessly debating the films true meaning; and dont come out with that "you dont understand it, i pitty you" drivel thats been posted in the Reloaded talkback by so many of you; i did understand it,i just couldnt care less about 90% of the shit in what was called 'a script'.
May 29, 2003, 11:02 a.m. CST
You guys almost seem to think this is a major issue.
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