7 Comments

    • archdukeofnaboo

      @Joe

      Your commentator is reading too much into Rian’s comments. They even admit themselves that they aren’t the biggest fans of the PT, so who are they to throw stones? Just because he disliked TLJ, doesn’t give him the right to the speak for all hardcore prequelists. What he’s doing here is hijackng our trilogy to suit his agenda. The PT is not a pawn! And I say this as a sharp critic of TLJ.

      Delighted by the support from Elijah Wood. I feel like it’s not the first time, but I can’t figure out when that was.

      • Cryogenic

        @ Joe:

        Yeah… That one’s a bit annoying (your Screen Rant link). That said, it’s just from Luke’s perspective, and it at least acknowledges the midi-chlorians as canon. Let’s look at the final lines which seem to be dismissing the midis:

        “Personally, I’ve never been one to worry about how exactly the Force whispers to me. All that matters to me is that it still does.”

        To me, this sounds like something Luke would say. He was never taught about the midi-chlorians by Obi-Wan or Yoda, and he was always a more instinctual Jedi, less bound by rules and dogma. He also seems to be expressing gratitude that the Force “still does” speak to him.

        The verb “whispers” is also well-chosen, as Qui-Gon tells Anakin: “When you quiet your mind, you’ll hear them speaking to you.” So Luke is indirectly telling us he hears the Force in a manner that is consistent with the existence of midi-chlorians, even though he doesn’t worry about their existence himself.

      • jpieper668

        @Cyro
        The worst part is that it’s an official book from Lucasfilm Simon Pegg Wil Wheaton and now this writer all got to work with Star Wars While Trashing the Prequels and the SR article said that Disney has done a solid Job Redeeming The PT Which is a Load of BULLSHIT!

      • Cryogenic

        @ Joe:

        I don’t like the idea that the ST has redeemed the PT. It never needed redeeming in my eyes. Five or ten years from now, these idiots will likely be saying the same thing about a new trilogy, or set of movies or streaming shows, redeeming the ST. Round and round it goes. But you’re right: prequel hatred is still quite common, unfortunately.

    • Cryogenic

      @ Joe:

      I have to agree with Arch Duke on this. It’s a phony sort of respect for the PT being manifested by the video uploader, and Johnson’s comments, in totality, aren’t all that disparaging. The video uploader (at the risk of mixing metaphors) is throwing the baby out with the bathwater, and using the prequels as a rod to beat the Disney films with. He is basically inventing a controversy to fuel the thin-skinned hater brigade against Disney. Substantive criticisms can be made of the Disney takeover, but I’m not sure this storm in a teacup really qualifies.

      Where I might agree with the commentator, on the other hand, is on the matter of Johnson calling the prequels a movie, or set of movies, “for children” — yes, that is their main target audience (as Lucas has always said), but that’s also the case (or meant to be) for all the Star Wars films. On the one hand, Johnson appears to be praising Lucas for condensing some important issues and packaging them in an instructive way for impressionable minds, which is great. Yet on the other, he seems to be damning with faint praise, by implying the prequels are inherently juvenile and below the level of the Original Trilogy — and, by extension, his own (much-derided) contribution to the franchise.

      Of course, it’s just a tweet, but it’s not the most inclusive wording on Johnson’s part. There’s a smarmy, segregationist aspect about the wording he went with. As the commentator suggests, it’s a tad belittling to expound on the prequels as being “for children” when giving what is meant to be sincere praise. How about: “which children can understand”? Or even just: “for young minds”? The term he used can be construed as geek-media-friendly dog-whistle for: “not as good as the OT”. Or in other words: “not as good as the movies I grew up with”. A common accusation hurled at the prequels is that Lucas made them for children to sell toys. Johnson has tapped that accusation for his own ends.

      It might be useful to remind ourselves of Johnson’s earlier words about the prequels from 2017 — identical wording was used by him then, too:

      https://naboonews.wordpress.com/2017/12/07/the-last-jedi-director-rian-johnson-praises-george-lucas-and-the-story-of-the-prequels/

      “How could you hate Jar Jar? How could you possibly hate Jar Jar? It’s funny because I’m of the generation who grew up with the original movies, and when we were in our twenties, we all lined up to see the Prequels and all of us had a very similar kind of reaction to them. But today it’s been very interesting for me to engage with the whole fanbase which right now includes a lot of people who were kids when the prequels came out. And to see that the prequels are to them what the original movies were to us, that kind of shaves away some of the cynicism I might have had about them. And also, I think it’s amazing to me when I step back and see what the prequels are actually about, that the prequels tell the story of how fear of loss turns good people into fascists. And the fact that that is a seven-hour kids movie — it’s pretty amazing and pretty wonderful.”

      You can also see, via that last link, I put in a comment where I wasn’t super-happy with what Johnson said at the time. But I did start *this* comment off by saying his remarks aren’t all that disparaging. I guess I’ve mellowed on them a bit.

      So let’s look at the positives here:

      In his new tweet, he calls the prequels “gorgeous”, while in his earlier remarks (as above), he calls them “pretty amazing and pretty wonderful”. Maybe this praise is being given in the context of what Johnson considers them to be about: an allegory for a democracy’s descent into fascism, by way of “entitlement” and “fear of loss”, but still, he’s evidently impressed by what Lucas achieved on some level. This is more credit than the prequels normally receive.

      Also of significance is that Johnson refers to the prequels, on both occasions, in a very Lucas-y way by concatenating them as one story block: describing them as a single unified movie. Lucas has done this himself for the original six films. Johnson seems attuned to some of Lucas’ methods and sensibilities beyond what you normally read about, even when people are praising them. He understands that the films structurally cohere together as an epic, self-contained fable, and he understands why that fable is important.

      Giving praise for Lucas’ technical accomplishments is a mark of gratitude and alacrity on his part. This also means Johnson went above and beyond, since the original tweet only commanded people to say “a genuinely nice thing”, not several. It is clear that Johnson has an underlying respect for Lucas as a filmmaker, even if the prequels didn’t gel with him as much as the originals did. If Johnson’s way of making peace with the prequels is to use a slight strawman like “for children”, then so be it. It might be clunky and a touch dismissive, but it doesn’t invalidate his praise.

      Lastly, if you watch closely enough, you’ll see that “The Last Jedi” has a rich tapestry of prequel references within it. So even if Rian Johnson prefers the originals, he was clearly inspired by the prequels somewhere along the way. This video uploader is basically taking something golden and trying to turn it back into straw.

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