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My review of EP II


Slowpokeking's Avatar


Slowpokeking
02.27.2013 , 01:27 AM | #1
EP II is my least favorite one of the six.

EP II didn’t have to do much to explain the beginning compare to EP I and III since there were little happened in the 10 years between EP I and EP II. EP II also didn’t have those childish plot like EP I. However, there are new problems.

The problem is that Anakin and his love story.

I once heard someone said Lucas wanted to show Anakin as a rebellious young man, which is very different than many people had expected and very different than Vader. I agreed with that, however a while ago when I heard many people said TCW Anakin was portrayed better than PT Anakin. I now realized Lucas’ characterization of Anakin is not that different than people had expected, the problem is to show his conflict and downfall. EP II was set in his most immature and rebellious time. Anakin was just a 19-years-old padawan, who has not experienced the war, just had a few missions with his master. In fact, most people have a “rebellious, whiny teenager” period around this age , even Palpatine is no different. TCW and PT Anakin is not different or inconsistent, but rather reflects different stages of the character, compared to the EP II, TCW Anakin had been knighted and experienced war, of course he became more mature. In fact, not just TCW, in CW and many other Clone Wars era EU, Anakin was more mature than EP II.

I think the weakest part of EP V’s plot is the romance of Leia and Han was a bit rushed. Lucas is not good at writing romance. But Leia and Han’s romance is not a huge part of the OT and Ford’s great performance made it stronger. However, in EP II Lucas intended to make the love story of Anakin and Padme the most important plot of EP II and one of the most important reasons Anakin fall to the Dark Side. So this caused the problem of EP II, we saw some badly written love story became the main theme of the movie. Lucas’ writing of the love story script is even worse, the “angel” scene in EP I also showed it. Even in EP IV, Obi Wan and Vader’s dialogue is a bit weird.

Hayden was blamed a lot a lot since people saw him play Anakin in EP II. However I don’t think it’s mostly his fault. Hayden performances in EP II is not great, especially the love scenes, he did fine in the scenes of Shmi’s death. If we look at Natalie Portman’s performance we could see she was no different in those romance scenes. Many people also said there was no chemistry between the two. I guess that has to do with Lucas as well. If we look at their other works, they were both talented actors but not great like Harrison Ford. So their performance rely on the director since the script and the plot is not amazing, but Lucas wasn‘t able to do so. EP II showed Lucas might be good at write the overall theme and plot, but love story is not what he‘s good at, his writing of script is also not impressive.

The major villain of EP II, Count Dooku clearly had more screen time, dialogue and characterization than Darth Maul, the lightsaber duel in the end showed his strength. However, compare to Maul, Dooku is a much more complexed and important character of the whole story. He was against the old JedI way also had a tight connection with Anakin. They even deleted the scene of Jocasta Nu telling Obi Wan about Dooku. The audience could only know he was an arrogant, powerful and elegant old gentleman through Sir Christopher Lee’s great performance in his limited screen time. There wasn’t enough screen time to show more of his character, which he should get more. Especially how did he change from one of the greatest Jedi Masters of that era to a cold and manipulative Sith Lord. This is not only the most important change in his character, it also has quite a bit to do with the overall theme, to show the old JedI‘s flaw and link with Anakin. We still have to mostly rely on EU to understand his character. If Lucas had thought of him in EP I he should let Dooku be there as the JedI Master. So we could understand his downfall better. This showed one of the biggest problems of the PT again. It got too much to tell and could not focus on certain plot and characters.

Compare to Saruman in Lord of the Rings, who was also played by Lee. Since the antagonist Sauron lost his physical form and appeared a giant burning eye, Saruman got more scenes than in the novel since the movie need an active villain. In the first two films, Saruman certainly had more presence than any other villains, including Sauron. Although I like Dooku’s character better, but if we just look at the movies, Saruman was portrayed more successful both as a character and a villain.

Of course, Palpatine is still great and he started to make close relationship with Anakin to seduce him. EP II overall is better than EP I, the PT haters mostly use the plots and elements of EP I, when they talk about EP II they mostly list the love scene and Hayden‘s performance.

Aurbere's Avatar


Aurbere
02.27.2013 , 11:59 AM | #2
The romance wasn't the greatest, but I see what Lucas wanted to do. It just didn't materialize.

I personally find Count Dooku to be a better character than Maul. He's more important to the overall plot than Darth Maul was.
Added Chapter 41 to The Shadows Fall
"Your only hope to survive is to give in to the rage boiling within you, to acknowledge the Dark Side you deny, and tap into it!"--Darth Tyranus

Slowpokeking's Avatar


Slowpokeking
02.27.2013 , 12:08 PM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by Aurbere View Post
The romance wasn't the greatest, but I see what Lucas wanted to do. It just didn't materialize.

I personally find Count Dooku to be a better character than Maul. He's more important to the overall plot than Darth Maul was.
Yeah but he still got too little screen time to show his character well.

Aurbere's Avatar


Aurbere
02.27.2013 , 03:39 PM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by Slowpokeking View Post
Yeah but he still got too little screen time to show his character well.
That happens sometimes. I recently watched the extended Jedi Library scene in Attack of the Clones and Jocasta Nu talked about Dooku's fall. I wonder why they removed it. It gave a good background to Dooku's character.
Added Chapter 41 to The Shadows Fall
"Your only hope to survive is to give in to the rage boiling within you, to acknowledge the Dark Side you deny, and tap into it!"--Darth Tyranus

kaczuszka's Avatar


kaczuszka
02.27.2013 , 03:41 PM | #5
I would prefer Maul to Dooku just cuz Maul seems more skilled if he had survived but yea he could talk more of use the force more often
peace is a lie there is only passion through passion I gain strength through strength I gain power through power I gain victory through victory my chains are broken the force shall free me

Slowpokeking's Avatar


Slowpokeking
02.27.2013 , 06:26 PM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by Aurbere View Post
That happens sometimes. I recently watched the extended Jedi Library scene in Attack of the Clones and Jocasta Nu talked about Dooku's fall. I wonder why they removed it. It gave a good background to Dooku's character.
Just like I don't understand why did PJ remove Saruman's death in the theater version.

Aurbere's Avatar


Aurbere
02.27.2013 , 07:45 PM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by Slowpokeking View Post
Just like I don't understand why did PJ remove Saruman's death in the theater version.
I know what you mean, but I don't think that's how Saruman actually died. So I guess it makes sense to remove that part from the movie.
Added Chapter 41 to The Shadows Fall
"Your only hope to survive is to give in to the rage boiling within you, to acknowledge the Dark Side you deny, and tap into it!"--Darth Tyranus

kirorx's Avatar


kirorx
02.27.2013 , 09:15 PM | #8
There was alot of issues IMO.

1) CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

Character development was a huge problem through the entire trilogy, because you get no real bad guy ever. I realize palpatine is the orchestrator, but we needed a more active player, and one that could also be developed through out the films.

We had Maul....He died in 1 film
We got Fett: He also died in 1 film.
Grevious: Came out of nowhere and also dies in only 1 film.
Count Dooku: He came at the end of episode 2 and died in the first act of episode 3. Plus i never understood his motive, it seemed like in Episode 2 he was trying to help Obi-Wan realize that there was Sith controling the Senate and he made some comment about Qui-Gon, but then in 3 he was just totally bad.

2: Master Sifo Diyas

I had NO clue who that was. The EU explains it, but a movie should not need a book to explain what the heck is happening.

----------------

I dont have to explain the love story stuff or anything since we have heard all that.
Watch the Clowder of Cather in this video http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=j7uTcYvoEbU

Doctoglethorpe's Avatar


Doctoglethorpe
02.27.2013 , 10:31 PM | #9
Dooku was trying to convert, or at least instill doubt into Obi-Wan when he acted like he was anti-sith In Clone Wars.

He was also a far more powerful force wielder then Maul ever was. Maul was a glorified assassin, not a true sith. Granted Dooku was never a true sith either, but he was at least a very powerful and knowledgeable dark jedi.

Reading the novels makes a world of difference in understanding and appreciating the characters in the prequel, regardless of whether or not they comply with Georgie's personal intentions. He did such a bad job or conveying anything in the movies that his intentions don't really matter anymore.

Beniboybling's Avatar


Beniboybling
02.28.2013 , 07:14 AM | #10
I'm guessing you plan on doing a review of every episode, or just the prequels?

Concerning the romance, I don't have much gripe with it, and I don't really much care for it either. However concerning those scenes I thought that was interesting was how Padme was used as a character for Anakin to bounce of and display his thoughts and opinions to the audience. I especially like the bit where he advocates what is essentially a dictatorship.

However I think the mediocre romance scenes are offset by the conflict element of the film, e.g. the battle of Geonosis and climatic battle with Dooku, Obi Wan, Anakin and Yoda. Yoda especially as this was sort of his 'debut' in terms of combat. Still in terms of overall perfomance, I wouldn't rate it highly overall. It would probably be at the bottom with the Phantom Menance, although IMO it was better.