Welcome to The Cantina where we definitely serve your kind. I’m your bartender Kyle Malone and I’m serving up tall glasses of nothing but Star Wars. By now you know I am the dedicated, well versed in the EU, experienced gamer, and open-minded fan this world needs. I see the flaws in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, but also the great moments too. I know the importance of The Empire Strikes Back but see how strong Return of the Jedi is. I see that the prequels… well… we’ll get there… maybe. There’s nothing more satisfying than a great Star Wars story, and I want more!
By now we have all seen the image of two bottles and a note to the cast and crew of Episode IX:
The big question is what does this mean? Many people are thinking we’ll be returning to Luke and Anakin’s home planet of Tatooine. Some have realized that not a single Original Trilogy planet has been visited or mentioned in the New Trilogy and think it’s for Jakku. I personally think it’s for Tatooine and will be something of a mea culpa offering from Kathleen Kennedy and company. I’ve spoken at length about how I think this next movie will try to make up for The Last Jedi, and nostalgia could play a big role. I believe Episode IX has the entire future of Star Wars movies on its shoulders. If this one doesn’t do well and reunite the fans, we may not see another movie for five to ten years. Seriously! It would take that long for things to calm down and the fans be willing to accept another “Disney Wars” film. As for the beans… I have no clue.
We all want the title of Episode IX to be revealed… like yesterday. It could be the first clue on the story of this movie, and we’re all dying to know where we’re going in December. The title of The Force Awakens was revealed 13 months prior to release and The Last Jedi was revealed January 23rd of 2017. It’s fair to assume we will be getting the title soon, but it’s not assured. Look how long Disney and Marvel held onto the title of Avengers: Endgame as an example of a studio’s ability to make… us… wait…
As for the rumored title, “Son of Darkness”, I am not a fan. Unless its an allusion to the “Reylo” baby, a rumor I hope to Thanos isn’t true, I think we’re all aware that Kylo Ren is a dark dude. I’m not quite sure what would be the best title, but I really don’t think that’s the one.
Last Call: Scene Analysis
Last month I discussed a great scene from The Phantom Menace. That means this month we need to discuss Attack of the Clones, but finding a good scene in that movie is tough. This movie brought with it lightsaber dancing between Dooku and our heroes Anakin and Obi-Wan, lightsaber-wielding Yoda looked like Sora doing air combos on Kingdom Hearts 2, and Anakin and Padme have NO chemistry. So what does that leave? Obi-Wan versus Jango Fett and the battle on Geonosis. Both suffer from horrible CGI by today’s standards, but one is cooler than the other. So, let’s take a look at the battle of Geonosis.
Anakin, Padme, and Obi-Wan have been captured and face execution Rome style, but unbeknownst to the bad guys the Republic’s brand new clone Army is there to save the day. Oh, and a bunch of Jedi show up too. Those Jedi save the captured heroes and master Mace Windu, played by Samuel L. Jackson, relieves Jango Fett of his head. After the Jedi are surrounded we are treated to a ground and air battle between CGI droids and CGI clones, led by Yoda no less.
So what works? Well, it’s full of action and provides us our first look at Jedi working together in more than pairs. After the clones show up we get a solid minute and a half of great ground and air combat. The camera work here is good and in my mind is one of the best combat scenes in all of Star Wars. Not the dialogue mind you, just the shots. Of course, there have been more recent movies with better “war” scenes, but this was entertaining. The music here is good too. I actually like several tracks from the Prequel Trilogy more than the Sequel Trilogy. John Williams captures the heart of the Original Trilogy’s battle scenes well with these tracks.
What doesn’t work… everything else. My first complaint is less technical but still pisses me off and it’s the fact that before the PT Jedi used lightsabers of all colors in the Expanded Universe. Leia had used red, blue, and yellow blades, Corran Horn had a silver blade that became iridescent when he clicked extra crystals in place to lengthen the blade, and Mara Jade’s was a magenta. Being a huge EU fan, I hated seeing George Lucas simplify things to good guys use blue and green and bad guys use red. Yes, I know there are a few exceptions in the current canon. Now onto what is actually wrong with the scene itself…
The obvious thing is the cartoony CGI. I know that for the time it was nearly cutting edge, but even in 2002 it looked… off. The CGI hurts the scene even more today, especially on the Blu-ray versions where the lines between real and CGI is so obvious that the Rancor scene from Return of the Jedi looks better. Okay maybe not that bad, but you get the point. The camera work during the coliseum battle is hectic and I think they try to shove too much Jedi action into the few minutes it takes place in. The dialogue is poorly written, but that’s true for the entire PT. Mace Windu and Count Dukoo’s interactions don’t flow smoothly at all and their line delivery feels uninspired. These are two great actors with decades of experience and not even they can save the script.
Overall this is probably the best scene in the movie. I think the lightsaber battles with Dukoo are separate from the battle of Geonosis, but I will say they look horrible and are the beginning of the lightsaber dancing that Lucas would use in Revenge of the Sith.
What do you think about the sand and beans?
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