ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  pinhedz on Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:43 am

Doc -- "I believe Vlad's primary weakness is that he is so sentimental and nostalgic. He would like to live in the time of Ivan Grozniy.  He got that way from reading Solzhenitsyn."  

Bluemoon -- "Maybe we can exploit that weakness. If he likes Solzhenitsyn, he should be willing to turn over the reins of power to the Russian Orthodox Patriarch."

Woo -- "But how would that be an improvement?"

Yakima -- "Killing Vlad is not hard, there are so many ways, that the hardest part will be choosing from among so many options. We could send his antimatter twin to eliminate him, or we could set our phasers on "Vaporize," but I think the best choice to send him a gift-wrapped albino monocled cobra--it will be exquisitely slow and painful." What a Face

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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  pinhedz on Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:52 am

Los Tuyos -- "But pinhed, did you not say that you know his greatest weakness?"

pinhed -- "I do. I have it on good authority that the walls in his bedroom are covered with posters of Miley Cyrus."

Ruslana -- "Is this true? Then I know the way to trick him!" What a Face


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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  pinhedz on Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:33 pm

^
Doc -- "I doubt that that will work."

Felix -- "Where is Mack Muromets? He's the one we really need at a time like this."

Mack is on his way, and I'm sure he'll find the place sooner or later.

It's just that he never likes to ask for directions:


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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  pinhedz on Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:32 am

Meanwhile, Vlad is confident that he can defeat al the kozaks.

We'll see about that.


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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  pinhedz on Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:49 am

Ruslana surprises the kozaks with a special treat: s'mores for everybody!

By now we know that Ruslana loves to cook. Smile



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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  pinhedz on Sat Sep 13, 2014 7:57 am

Before I go on, I must make one thing clear. bounce

There will be NO KOZAK ZOMBIES on this thread (although Russian vampyres could happen):


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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  pinhedz on Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:02 am

The ATU kazaki have eaten their fill (there was too much--but kozaki always eat everything they can reach).

So, fueled and rested, they decide to get up and at 'em--NOT. Razz

They decide to lay back with bloated bellies watching the game.

Felix -- "Bhurp!"

Doc -- "That's not polite"

Felix -- "Can't 'elp it, mate!"

Doc -- "I understand that. But you could excuse yourself."

Felix -- "Sorry about bein' such a pig. BHHURRP!"

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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  pinhedz on Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:07 am

Ruslana -- "And now, boys, my dobryye malchiki, it is time for you ...
NOT going out to mount your dobryye koni.
Do not ride out po polyu, po zelenomu
And do not there make battle with the Russian vampyre ..."

pinhed -- "Ruslana's advice is good. Let's not do anything crazy."

Ruslana -- "Why you are not riding? Other times I tell boys 'Don't ride,' and always they ride!" scratch

Doc -- "I think perhaps Kozaks now are not like they used to be."

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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  pinhedz on Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:13 am

Just then noisy activity was heard from out by the cow barn.

The milkmaid were all squealing with delight over something or other.

Felix -- "Did someone tell the girls I was here?"

Pinhed -- "It could be that, or, it could be someone else." Suspect

Woo -- Shocked

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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  pinhedz on Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:14 am

Yes, it's true--Mack has finally arrived. cheers


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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  pinhedz on Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:18 pm

^
Mack knew that she should keep heading East to aid of the Donbass region, but the milkmaids begged him to stay. silent

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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  Yakima Canutt on Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:49 am

The only Episodes you probably watch are IV through VI.

But what can you do if you do wish to involve the prequel trilogy? Whatever your reason, if you are showing someone the official editions of Star Wars for the first time (no Phantom Edits), you have to make a decision about which order to show the films.

There are two obvious options for watching the Star Wars saga.

Release Order - Watch the films in the order they came out ( IV, V, VI, I, II, III), recreating your experience with the films for someone new to them.

Episode Order - Watch the films in the order George Lucas intends, starting with Episode I and going straight through to Episode VI.

There are two critical flaws with both of these orders, unfortunately, that prevent either from being appropriate.

The problem with Episode Order is that it ruins the surprise that Vader is Luke's father. If you think that this reveal doesn't matter since it's common knowledge, I suggest you watch the looks on these kids' faces. This reveal is one of the most shocking in film history, and if a newcomer to the series has managed to avoid having it spoiled for them, watching the films in Episode Order would be like watching the ending of The Sixth Sense first.

The other problem with Episode Order is that the prequels don't really have a story. They're just background for the real story, which is Luke's attempt to destroy the Empire and save his father. Watching 3 films of backstory is boring if you've never seen the films they're the background to. Hell, that's why George Lucas made A New Hope first, he knew if he started with Episode I he'd never be able to complete the series. Starting someone off with Episode I is a surefire way to ensure they don't make it through the entire franchise.

Unfortunately, Release Order is also an instant failure, and the reason is a single shot. If you're watching the original trilogy first, then after the Empire is destroyed and everyone is celebrating, Luke looks over at his mentors, Ben Kenobi and Yoda, and suddenly they are joined by... some random creepy looking teenager who needs a haircut. Placing Hayden Christensen in the ending of Jedi, since he's not in ANY of the other films, turns an ending that should be celebratory into one that is confusing for the viewer. The fact that Christensen looks like he's undressing someone with his eyes doesn't help.

So neither order really works. What to do?

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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  Yakima Canutt on Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:00 am

An Alternative Suggestion

How can you ensure that a viewing keeps the Vader reveal a surprise, while introducing young Anakin before the end of Return of the Jedi?

Simple, watch them in this order: IV, V, I, II, III, VI.

George Lucas believes that Star Wars is the story of Anakin Skywalker, but it is not. The prequels, which establish his character, are so poor at being character-driven that, if the series is about Anakin, the entire series is a failure. Anakin is not a relatable character, Luke is.

This alternative order (which a commenter has pointed out is called Ernst Rister order) inserts the prequel trilogy into the middle, allowing the series to end on the sensible ending point (the destruction of the Empire) while still beginning with Luke's journey.

Effectively, this order keeps the story Luke's tale. Just when Luke is left with the burning question "how did my father become Darth Vader?" we take an extended flashback to explain exactly how. Once we understand how his father turned to the dark side, we go back to the main storyline and see how Luke is able to rescue him from it and salvage the good in him.

The prequel backstory comes at the perfect time, because Empire Strikes Back ends on a huge cliffhanger. Han is in carbonite, Vader is Luke's father, and the Empire has hit the rebellion hard. Delaying the resolution of this cliffhanger makes it all the more satisfying when Return of the Jedi is watched.

Narratively, it's just like a movie that starts with a big opening, then fades to "2 years earlier" for most of the movie, until it catches up with the present time and concludes.

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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  pinhedz on Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:06 am

ATU The Movie is now strictly Real Time--so nothing happens until something really happens.

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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  Yakima Canutt on Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:09 am

Introducing: Machete Order

But there is a further modification that has been named by the networks "Machete Order"

Next time you want to introduce someone to Star Wars for the first time, watch the films with them in this order: IV, V, II, III, VI

Notice something? Yeah, Episode I is gone.

Episodes II and III aren't exactly Shakespeare, but standing next to the complete and utter trainwreck that is Episode I, they sure look like it. At least, III does anyway. [ some would argue that cinematically, II sucks more than I, but II contains salient narrative information]

Episode I is a failure on every possible level, some have posited. Luckily, George Lucas has done everyone a favor by making the content of Episode I completely irrelevant to the rest of the series. Seriously, think about it for a minute. Name as many things as you can that happen in Episode I and actually help flesh out the story in any subsequent episode. I can only think of one thing, which I'll mention later.

Every character established in Episode I is either killed or removed before it ends (Darth Maul, Qui-Gon, Chancellor Valorum), unimportant (Nute Gunray, Watto), or established better in a later episode (Mace Windu, Darth Sidious). Does it ever matter that Palpatine had an apprentice before Count Dooku? Nope, Darth Maul is killed by the end of Episode I and never referenced again. You may as well just start with the assumption that Dooku was the only apprentice. Does it ever matter that Obi-Wan was being trained by Qui-Gon? Nope, Obi-Wan is well into training Anakin at the start of Episode II, Qui-Gon is completely irrelevant.

Search your feelings, you know it to be true! Episode I doesn't matter at all. You can start the prequels with Episode II and miss absolutely nothing. The opening crawl of Episode II establishes everything you need to know about the prequels: a bunch of systems want to leave the Republic, they are led by Count Dooku, and Senator Amidala is a senator who is going to vote on whether the Republic is going to create an army. Natalie Portman is called Senator Amidala twice in the first 4 minutes of the movie, so there's no question of who's who.

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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  pinhedz on Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:12 am

In the case of ATU The Movie, the cast of characters is now greatly diminished.  Neutral
But Ruslana, Svetlana and Grushchenka are more than enough to ensure that Mack defeats the evilist of evil-doers.
It is now Big Mack against Vampyre Putin. affraid

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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  pinhedz on Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:18 am

Putin has issued a proclamation denouncing the "kreakli."

This is new. scratch

Who are the "kreakli?" they are the members of the "Kreativnaya Klassa" -- the creative class. In other words -- university students.

You heard it here first, because you were here when you heard it. Very Happy

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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  Yakima Canutt on Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:37 am

An extension of his already established "Jihadvoyna On Punk Rockmuzyka"



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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  Yakima Canutt on Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:46 am

But what have we removed???

Here's some stuff that you no longer have to see as part of your Star Wars viewing experience, thanks to skipping Episode I.


Buh-bye, Binks!

*Virtually no Jar-Jar. Jar-Jar has about 5 lines in Episode II, and zero in Episode III.

*No midichlorians. There is only one reference to midichlorians after Episode I, and in the context it appears to mean something as benign as "DNA."

*No Jake Lloyd. Sorry Jake, your acting is terrible and I never really wanted to see Darth Vader as a little boy.

*No confusing Padme/Queen switcheroo. The whole subplot with Padme and her decoy makes absolutely no sense. It's clear that this was just so people could interact with Padme without knowing she was the Queen, but it's incredibly convoluted and pointless.

*Less confusing master/apprentice relationships. Darth Sidious is training Count Dooku, Obi-Wan is training Anakin. No other trainer/trainee relationships exist to confuse the backstory.

*Fewer characters to learn about, so the story is more focused.

*Nothing about trade disputes. The "problem" as of Episode II is that a group of systems want to leave the Republic. This is much easier to understand for a kid than trade disputes.

*No pod racing. Seriously, who gives a shit? An action sequence for the sake of an action sequence and it goes on forever. A huge number of plot holes surrounding gambling and the subsequent freeing of Anakin are removed as well.

*No virgin birth. We simply don't know or care who Anakin's father is, and the subtle implication that it's Palpatine is gone.

But booting Episode I isn't merely about pretending a crappy movie doesn't exist. Viewing Episode II immediately after V and Episode III immediately before VI actually tells the story better than including Episode I does.


Last edited by Yakima Canutt on Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:52 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  pinhedz on Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:48 am

Ruslana, Svetlana, Grushchenka and Mack are lounging, sated and bloated, in Ruslana's dacha. Ruslana has a large supply of Bulgarian wine.

Mack speaks to Grushchenka:

Mack -- "Grushchenka--what are you doing here? Who's' minding the embassy in Nigeria?"

Grushch -- "If you'd ever been to Africa you'd know that it's a basket case. I can make myself much more useful in Donbass."

Ruslana -- "Does this mean we are not so hopeless?"

Grushch -- "Not so hopeless, relatively speaking."

pinhead -- "Grushch, it's nice to see you again, by the way. When did you stop dying your hair?"

Grushch -- "Nice to see you too, pinhed. But the problems of two little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world."

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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  Yakima Canutt on Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:13 pm

Introducing: Machete Order

But there is a further modification that has been named by the networks "Machete Order"

Next time you want to introduce someone to Star Wars for the first time, watch the films with them in this order: IV, V, II, III, VI

Notice something? Yeah, Episode I is gone.

Episodes II and III aren't exactly Shakespeare, but standing next to the complete and utter trainwreck that is Episode I, they sure look like it. At least, III does anyway. [ some would argue that cinematically, II sucks more than I, but II contains salient narrative information]

Episode I is a failure on every possible level, some have posited. Luckily, George Lucas has done everyone a favor by making the content of Episode I completely irrelevant to the rest of the series. Seriously, think about it for a minute. Name as many things as you can that happen in Episode I and actually help flesh out the story in any subsequent episode. I can only think of one thing, which I'll mention later.

Every character established in Episode I is either killed or removed before it ends (Darth Maul, Qui-Gon, Chancellor Valorum), unimportant (Nute Gunray, Watto), or established better in a later episode (Mace Windu, Darth Sidious). Does it ever matter that Palpatine had an apprentice before Count Dooku? Nope, Darth Maul is killed by the end of Episode I and never referenced again. You may as well just start with the assumption that Dooku was the only apprentice. Does it ever matter that Obi-Wan was being trained by Qui-Gon? Nope, Obi-Wan is well into training Anakin at the start of Episode II, Qui-Gon is completely irrelevant.

Search your feelings, you know it to be true! Episode I doesn't matter at all. You can start the prequels with Episode II and miss absolutely nothing. The opening crawl of Episode II establishes everything you need to know about the prequels: a bunch of systems want to leave the Republic, they are led by Count Dooku, and Senator Amidala is a senator who is going to vote on whether the Republic is going to create an army. Natalie Portman is called Senator Amidala twice in the first 4 minutes of the movie, so there's no question of who's who.

But what have we removed???

Here's some stuff that you no longer have to see as part of your Star Wars viewing experience, thanks to skipping Episode I.


Buh-bye, Binks!

*Virtually no Jar-Jar. Jar-Jar has about 5 lines in Episode II, and zero in Episode III.

*No midichlorians. There is only one reference to midichlorians after Episode I, and in the context it appears to mean something as benign as "DNA."

*No Jake Lloyd. Sorry Jake, your acting is terrible and I never really wanted to see Darth Vader as a little boy.

*No confusing Padme/Queen switcheroo. The whole subplot with Padme and her decoy makes absolutely no sense. It's clear that this was just so people could interact with Padme without knowing she was the Queen, but it's incredibly convoluted and pointless.

*Less confusing master/apprentice relationships. Darth Sidious is training Count Dooku, Obi-Wan is training Anakin. No other trainer/trainee relationships exist to confuse the backstory.

*Fewer characters to learn about, so the story is more focused.

*Nothing about trade disputes. The "problem" as of Episode II is that a group of systems want to leave the Republic. This is much easier to understand for a kid than trade disputes.

*No pod racing. Seriously, who gives a shit? An action sequence for the sake of an action sequence and it goes on forever. A huge number of plot holes surrounding gambling and the subsequent freeing of Anakin are removed as well.

*No virgin birth. We simply don't know or care who Anakin's father is, and the subtle implication that it's Palpatine is gone.

But booting Episode I isn't merely about pretending a crappy movie doesn't exist. Viewing Episode II immediately after V and Episode III immediately before VI actually tells the story better than including Episode I does.


Why does this work better?

As I mentioned, this creates a lot of tension after the cliffhanger ending of Episode V. It also uses the original trilogy as a framing device for the prequel trilogy. Vader drops this huge bomb that he's Luke's father, then we spend two movies proving he's telling the truth, then we see how it gets resolved. The Star Wars watching experience gets to start with the film that does the best job of establishing the Star Wars universe, Episode IV, and it ends with the most satisfying ending, Episode VI. It also starts the series off with the two strongest films, and allows you to never have to either start or end your viewing experience with a shitty movie. Two films of Luke's story, two films of Anakin's story, then a single film that intertwines and ends both stories.

Beyond this, Episode I establishes Anakin as a cute little kid, totally innocent. But Episode II quickly establishes him as impulsive and power-hungry, which keeps his character consistent with eventually becoming Darth Vader. Obi-Wan never really seems to have any control over Anakin, struggling between treating him as a friend (their very first conversation together in Episode II) and treating him as an apprentice (their second conversation, with Padme). Anakin is never a carefree child yelling "yippee", he's a complex teenager nearly boiling over with rage in almost every scene. It makes much more sense for Anakin to have always been this way.

In the opening of Episode II, Padme refers to Anakin as "that little boy I knew on Tatooine." The two of them look approximately the same age in Episode II, so the viewer can naturally conclude that the two of them were friends as children. This completely hides the totally weird age gap between them from Episode I, and lends a lot of believability to the subsequent romance. Scenes in which they fall for each other seem to build on a childhood friendship that we never see but can assume is there. Since their relationship is the eventual reason for Anakin's fall to the dark side, having it be somewhat believable makes a big difference.

Obi-Wan now always has a beard for the entire duration of the series, and Anakin Skywalker always wears black. Since these two characters are played by different actors (and are the only characters in the series with such a distinction), having them look visually consistent does a great deal toward reinforcing they are the same people.

This order also preserves both twists. George Lucas knew that watching the films in Episode Order would remove the Vader twist, so he added the Palpatine twist to compensate. Since we don't really meet the Emperor until Episode VI (you only see him for one scene, in hologram, in V), this order preserves the twist around Palpatine taking over as Emperor. Episode I establishes that Darth Sidious is manipulating the Trade Federation in the opening scene of the film, and it's pretty obvious Sidious is Palpatine. But if you skip Episode I, all we ever see is that Count Dooku is leading a separatist movement, all on his own. Dooku tells Obi-Wan that the Senate is under the control of a Sith lord named "Darth Sidious", but at the end of the movie, after Dooku flees from Geonosis, he meets with his "master", who turns out to be Darth Sidious. This is the first time we realize that the separatist movement is actually being controlled by Sidious, and it's the first time we see him, which doesn't give the audience a chance to realize he's Palpatine (remember, nobody has ever referred to "Emperor Palpatine" by this point in the series).

Machete Order also keeps the fact that Luke and Leia are siblings a surprise, it simply moves the surprise to Episode III instead of VI, when Padme announces her daughter's name. This is actually a more effective twist in this context than when Obi-Wan just tells Luke in Return of the Jedi. We get to find out before Luke, and we discover she's carrying twins along with Obi-Wan when the Gynobot tells him. Luke's name is first, so when Padme names the other kid "Leia" it's a pretty shocking reveal. As an added bonus, there are now about 5 hours of film between the discovery that they are siblings and the time they kissed.


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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  pinhedz on Thu Mar 05, 2015 3:42 pm

Obi wan beams himself into Ruslana's Dacha.

Ruslana -- "Light sabers will not help us. They are only for hand-to-hand combat."

Grushch -- "That's right, Bozo. If you want to make yourself useful, come back with some long-range weapons. bounce "

[Please excuse Grushchenka's bluntness. She was never one to mince words. Shocked ]

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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  Yakima Canutt on Thu Mar 05, 2015 6:15 pm

Yakima Canutt wrote:
Introducing: Machete Order

But there is a further modification that has been named by the networks "Machete Order"

Next time you want to introduce someone to Star Wars for the first time, watch the films with them in this order: IV, V, II, III, VI

Notice something? Yeah, Episode I is gone.

Episodes II and III aren't exactly Shakespeare, but standing next to the complete and utter trainwreck that is Episode I, they sure look like it. At least, III does anyway. [ some would argue that cinematically, II sucks more than I, but II contains salient narrative information]

Episode I is a failure on every possible level, some have posited. Luckily, George Lucas has done everyone a favor by making the content of Episode I completely irrelevant to the rest of the series. Seriously, think about it for a minute. Name as many things as you can that happen in Episode I and actually help flesh out the story in any subsequent episode. I can only think of one thing, which I'll mention later.

Every character established in Episode I is either killed or removed before it ends (Darth Maul, Qui-Gon, Chancellor Valorum), unimportant (Nute Gunray, Watto), or established better in a later episode (Mace Windu, Darth Sidious). Does it ever matter that Palpatine had an apprentice before Count Dooku? Nope, Darth Maul is killed by the end of Episode I and never referenced again. You may as well just start with the assumption that Dooku was the only apprentice. Does it ever matter that Obi-Wan was being trained by Qui-Gon? Nope, Obi-Wan is well into training Anakin at the start of Episode II, Qui-Gon is completely irrelevant.

Search your feelings, you know it to be true! Episode I doesn't matter at all. You can start the prequels with Episode II and miss absolutely nothing. The opening crawl of Episode II establishes everything you need to know about the prequels: a bunch of systems want to leave the Republic, they are led by Count Dooku, and Senator Amidala is a senator who is going to vote on whether the Republic is going to create an army. Natalie Portman is called Senator Amidala twice in the first 4 minutes of the movie, so there's no question of who's who.

But what have we removed???

Here's some stuff that you no longer have to see as part of your Star Wars viewing experience, thanks to skipping Episode I.


Buh-bye, Binks!

*Virtually no Jar-Jar. Jar-Jar has about 5 lines in Episode II, and zero in Episode III.

*No midichlorians. There is only one reference to midichlorians after Episode I, and in the context it appears to mean something as benign as "DNA."

*No Jake Lloyd. Sorry Jake, your acting is terrible and I never really wanted to see Darth Vader as a little boy.

*No confusing Padme/Queen switcheroo. The whole subplot with Padme and her decoy makes absolutely no sense. It's clear that this was just so people could interact with Padme without knowing she was the Queen, but it's incredibly convoluted and pointless.

*Less confusing master/apprentice relationships. Darth Sidious is training Count Dooku, Obi-Wan is training Anakin. No other trainer/trainee relationships exist to confuse the backstory.

*Fewer characters to learn about, so the story is more focused.

*Nothing about trade disputes. The "problem" as of Episode II is that a group of systems want to leave the Republic. This is much easier to understand for a kid than trade disputes.

*No pod racing. Seriously, who gives a shit? An action sequence for the sake of an action sequence and it goes on forever. A huge number of plot holes surrounding gambling and the subsequent freeing of Anakin are removed as well.

*No virgin birth. We simply don't know or care who Anakin's father is, and the subtle implication that it's Palpatine is gone.

But booting Episode I isn't merely about pretending a crappy movie doesn't exist. Viewing Episode II immediately after V and Episode III immediately before VI actually tells the story better than including Episode I does.


Why does this work better?

As I mentioned, this creates a lot of tension after the cliffhanger ending of Episode V. It also uses the original trilogy as a framing device for the prequel trilogy. Vader drops this huge bomb that he's Luke's father, then we spend two movies proving he's telling the truth, then we see how it gets resolved. The Star Wars watching experience gets to start with the film that does the best job of establishing the Star Wars universe, Episode IV, and it ends with the most satisfying ending, Episode VI. It also starts the series off with the two strongest films, and allows you to never have to either start or end your viewing experience with a shitty movie. Two films of Luke's story, two films of Anakin's story, then a single film that intertwines and ends both stories.

Beyond this, Episode I establishes Anakin as a cute little kid, totally innocent. But Episode II quickly establishes him as impulsive and power-hungry, which keeps his character consistent with eventually becoming Darth Vader. Obi-Wan never really seems to have any control over Anakin, struggling between treating him as a friend (their very first conversation together in Episode II) and treating him as an apprentice (their second conversation, with Padme). Anakin is never a carefree child yelling "yippee", he's a complex teenager nearly boiling over with rage in almost every scene. It makes much more sense for Anakin to have always been this way.

In the opening of Episode II, Padme refers to Anakin as "that little boy I knew on Tatooine." The two of them look approximately the same age in Episode II, so the viewer can naturally conclude that the two of them were friends as children. This completely hides the totally weird age gap between them from Episode I, and lends a lot of believability to the subsequent romance. Scenes in which they fall for each other seem to build on a childhood friendship that we never see but can assume is there. Since their relationship is the eventual reason for Anakin's fall to the dark side, having it be somewhat believable makes a big difference.

Obi-Wan now always has a beard for the entire duration of the series, and Anakin Skywalker always wears black. Since these two characters are played by different actors (and are the only characters in the series with such a distinction), having them look visually consistent does a great deal toward reinforcing they are the same people.

This order also preserves both twists. George Lucas knew that watching the films in Episode Order would remove the Vader twist, so he added the Palpatine twist to compensate. Since we don't really meet the Emperor until Episode VI (you only see him for one scene, in hologram, in V), this order preserves the twist around Palpatine taking over as Emperor. Episode I establishes that Darth Sidious is manipulating the Trade Federation in the opening scene of the film, and it's pretty obvious Sidious is Palpatine. But if you skip Episode I, all we ever see is that Count Dooku is leading a separatist movement, all on his own. Dooku tells Obi-Wan that the Senate is under the control of a Sith lord named "Darth Sidious", but at the end of the movie, after Dooku flees from Geonosis, he meets with his "master", who turns out to be Darth Sidious. This is the first time we realize that the separatist movement is actually being controlled by Sidious, and it's the first time we see him, which doesn't give the audience a chance to realize he's Palpatine (remember, nobody has ever referred to "Emperor Palpatine" by this point in the series).

Machete Order also keeps the fact that Luke and Leia are siblings a surprise, it simply moves the surprise to Episode III instead of VI, when Padme announces her daughter's name. This is actually a more effective twist in this context than when Obi-Wan just tells Luke in Return of the Jedi. We get to find out before Luke, and we discover she's carrying twins along with Obi-Wan when the Gynobot tells him. Luke's name is first, so when Padme names the other kid "Leia" it's a pretty shocking reveal. As an added bonus, there are now about 5 hours of film between the discovery that they are siblings and the time they kissed.


What Works Best?

Best of all, this order ( IV, V, II, III, VI ) actually makes a particular tension in Return of the Jedi stronger.

Remember, we see in Episode V that Luke's vision in the cave on Degobah is that he turns into Darth Vader, then we find out Vader is his father. Then we watch Episodes II and III, in which his father turns to the dark side in order to protect his loved ones. After that we go back to VI, where eventually Luke confronts the Emperor.

Remember that we never saw Anakin as a little kid, he's about the same age the first time we see him as Luke was in Episode VI. Hayden Christensen's incessant whining in Episode II is actually less annoying now, because it's helping to link the character to Luke, who was just as whiny in Episode IV. In other words, because we skipped Episode I, the parallels between Luke and Anakin are much stronger. We've seen Obi-Wan train just the two of them, and never had to see anyone training Obi-Wan himself. The viewer is naturally linking the paths of these two characters together at this point.


The first time we see Luke in Return of the Jedi, he's wearing all-black, just like his father did. He gives R2D2 and C-3P0 to Jabba the Hutt, much to their surprise. Luke isn't exactly looking like a clean-cut Jedi like he claims. Then, when he finally enters Jabba's palace, the musical cue sounds a bit like the Imperial March, and the way he enters with the light behind him makes it unclear if he is Luke or Vader. Then, he force chokes Jabba's guards, something only Vader has done in the series! Nobody else sees him do this.

When he confronts Jabba, he warns him that he's taking his friends back. He says Jabba can either profit from this, "or be destroyed." Furthermore, he tells Jabba "not to underestimate my power." The last time this phrase was used, it was by Anakin when dueling Obi-Wan. When watching Jedi on its own, Luke just seems a tad arrogant during these scenes. When watching Jedi immediately after watching Revenge of the Sith, the message is clear: Luke Skywalker is on the path to the Dark Side.

Why does this matter? Because at the end of Jedi, Luke confronts the Emperor. The Emperor explains that the assault on the new Death Star is a trap and that his friends are going to die, and he keeps taunting Luke, telling him to grab his lightsaber and fight him. The film is trying to create a tension that Luke might embrace the Dark Side, but it was never really believable. However, within the context of him following in his father's footsteps and his father using the power of the dark side to save people, with Luke's friends being killed just outside the Death Star window, this is much more believable.

Shortly after, Luke goes apeshit and beats the hell out of Vader, clearly succumbing to his anger. He overpowers Vader with rage and cuts his arm off, just like Anakin did to Windu in Episode III. Having the very real threat of Luke following in his father's path made clear by watching II and III before VI heightens the tension of this scene, and it actually makes Return of the Jedi better. Yes, watching Revenge of the Sith makes Return of the Jedi a better, more effective film. Considering it's the weakest of the original trilogy films, this improvement is welcome.

Yakima Canutt

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Join date : 2011-04-11

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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

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