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Member Since 25 Mar 2010
Online Last Active Today, 02:10 PM

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In Topic: Delving Too Deep OOC - Rules, Character List, and Chat

22 February 2018 - 06:05 PM

"I will not condone the greed of mortals. I am aware Xiraloc sleeps in a treasure vault. If any of you takes a single treasure beyond this sword demanded of you, I will relinquish my aid and leave you at the mercy of the demon. Is this understood?"


What is it with "superior" beings and denying me my loot? :angryfist:


Ah, well. At least Allya still has that book on how to summon archdemons.... you know, just in case we ever need one. :P

In Topic: Resurrection

08 February 2018 - 12:16 PM

Not to be a bother, Wolfy, but... any chance of an update on the ETA for that sign-up topic? :3

In Topic: Star Wars Movie Thread: Qi'ra? I barely even know'a!

02 February 2018 - 04:42 PM

Forget that. I have discovered the greatest thing ever of all time:




And now I have ruined that epic piece of music for you forever. You're welcome. :P

In Topic: Star Wars Movie Thread: Qi'ra? I barely even know'a!

22 January 2018 - 08:49 PM

1. The OT isn't about Darth Vader. These movies are. So when you spend like 2.8 movies with Anakin as one of the main characters and then just dump him after the most important moment in his life, that's a big prob. It was Lucas' idea to rethink this whole Star Wars thing as 'the saga of Space Jesus Anakin Skywalker', because the original movies are definitely not that, but once he's made his bed he's gotta sleep in it, for better or worse. Don't skip out on the hard stuff.


2. Don't you think that Ewan McGregor thought he was igniting his lightsabre in that shot? Why would he pull it from his belt and then flick his wrist like that just to hold it in the air unignited? I'd swear when they were on set that day they told Ewan "OK, this is the shot where you pull your lightsabre out and ignite it", so he did that, and then later in editing they decided they wanted him to ignite it later in the scene and they just left this shot in there and didn't draw his lightsabre blade coming out.


3. OK, I'm totally exaggerating, but what I'm mainly getting at is that whenever the two are fighting, it's just this mindnumbing pattern of up, down, left, right strokes over and over and over, at the same speed, the same intensity, the same rhythm. I feel like it's the live-action version of when two cartoon characters fight and they just become a cloud of dust with the occasional fist or foot poking out. There's no room to breath, no room for any individual attack to hit harder than any other, just this incessant vwing-vwing-vwing-ing.


And they should totally be talking to eachother! Darth Maul and Obi Wan don't talk because they literally just met four minutes ago; Anakin and Obi Wan are lifelong friends! Anakin's motivation for suddenly wanting to kill Obi Wan is so flimsy, and Obi Wan should be desperately trying to talk him back, but instead they just clam up. Even in the slower moments when there's nothing to do but talk, they just stay awkwardly silent and wait for the next break in the lava showers to get back to the sabre dancing. It might not be so bad if there was any sense of emotion or humanity in the actual fighting, but, again, it's all just that mindless vwing-ing; they just turn into lightsabre-swinging machines.


I mean, look at this hotness:


That's what Obi Wan vs. Anakin should have been. Anakin coming at him with all his rage and Obi Wan just trying to calm his old friend down, avoid fighting, run and hide from the onslaught of Dark Side rage, not just immediately throwing down and vwing-ing for ten minutes straight. Look at these two actually going places, running around on a physical set, interacting with scenery that's actually there. They touch lightsabres exactly twice and it's a more visually interesting and exciting shot than the whole RotS fight. Look at that body language you can read because they aren't mindlessly sparring the whole time; even if you weren't familiar with the Star Wars shorthand of 'red sword = bad guy', you can instantly tell who's the aggressor, who's fighting angry and who's staying calm and clever through the action alone.

1. I mean---you're not wrong. But I think the idea (as rushed and poorly executed as it was) is that the moment Anakin knelt and Palps dubbed him Sir Darth Vader, he was OT Vader in everything but the pimped-out black armor and robo-limbs (sounding like JEJ). Like, that was the culmination of his arc (until RotJ)---he was already totally committed, and hence all the killing at the temple didn't bother him a bit---and everything after was just details as to how he got those other things.


2. I can see it... but on the other hand, it's not like you can see him thumb the activation switch or anything (actually, I've always been confused about where the switch on his saber is even supposed to be) so I don't see it as egregious. I mean, lightsabers activate so quickly, and cut so easily, that it would almost make sense it people kept them off as much as possible... but that's a whole different issue.


3. I do agree somewhat about the lack of variation (choking scene aside). It would have been more interesting if Anakin and Obi had had unique choreography, especially since going by the Forms of lightsaber combat (which are totally canon since they were mentioned in Rebels) their combat styles are diametrically opposed---Obi's focused on impenetrable, effortless defense (basically letting the opponent tire themselves out), while Anakin's is focused on overwhelming the opponent by raw physical strength. I think the idea is that the two, having doubtless sparred together many times, are so familiar with each other's moves that they wind up imitating each other while trying to anticipate the other's going to do (hence that ridiculous scene where they both pinwheel their sabers for like 5 seconds straight without ever once making contact, before clashing and then simultaneously going for a Force-push).


Although (dance-like or not) personally I can't help but find it at least a little impressive knowing that the actors did much of the choreography at full speed. And, let's face it: the fight choreography in Star Wars has never been great (there are some truly hilariously bad moments during Luke's final rage-attack on Vader in RotJ, where Vader doesn't even move or block and Luke still misses by like three feet). And, silly though it might be, visually-perfect glowstick-dancing is entertaining. :D


As to the talking... Well, maybe you're a more forgiving person than I; but IMO, best friend or not, there comes a point---say after they've helped murder all your co-workers/friends, you've seen video of them killing children, they've tried to choke out their girlfriend right in front of you, and declared you to be their enemy---when the time for talking is past. :P


EDIT: Though there isn't really any dialogue during the fight, for me the scenes immediately before and after it provide a sufficient emotional basis for investment. (Anakin's scene with Padme and then Obi-wan leading up to the fight is, IMO, one of the few pieces of good acting Hayden did in these movies).


And, yes, the fight in TFA is awesome. But that's not the issue in contention here. :D



And, on a semi-related note, one thing that does bother me about the fights in AotC and RotS (okay, everything bothers me about the fights in AotC) is the sound design. One of the reasons the Maul fight in PM feels so much more visceral is the lightsaber clash sounds are so much more... sharp? intense? I can't think of a good adjective, but they make the blows sound like they're hitting with more force, and hence help give the impression that it's a serious fight. TFA's sounds are a marked improvement from AotC's and RotS's, but PM still has the best IMO.

In Topic: Star Wars Movie Thread: Qi'ra? I barely even know'a!

22 January 2018 - 03:40 PM

The story more or less dumps Anakin at this point, too, which is maybe the worst thing of all. He stops being a point-of-view character, if we go by ASoIaF parlance, and from here on we just hear about him from other characters. We don't see how killing those children affects him, we don't see any further struggle on his part. Sheev just declares him Vader and that's what he is, and his only remaining lines in the movie are the ones we know from the memes. "From my point of view the Jedi are evil". Ugh. UGH. Ugh ugh ugh. This movie is so terrible. 
As we come to the big showdown, my favourite gif of Episode 3 is this one, where Ewan McGregor 100% thought he was igniting his lightsabre but the CG artist didn't draw it in and they just left this trash front and centre in one of the movie's most pivotal scenes:
Oh no, you guys. This fight scene. What were they thinking? I don't know who decided that Prequel Jedi were going to fight like this, but it only started in Episode 2 and it got so much worse here. Darth Maul and Obi Wan looked like two men who genuinely wanted to kill eachother and were making their best effort to do so with their laser swords. Obi Wan and Anakin never once give off this impression in all their ten minutes of wordless twirling. They look like two men who have jointly come up with a new kind of performance art where they attempt to touch eachother's glowsticks together as many times as they can as quickly as possible while wearing angry faces. There's no passion, no humanity, no words; there is only the dance. They don't even grunt with exertion, because there's just no room for it in the choreography. There's no variation to it, no slow or fast bits, no big swings, just dancing dancing dancing. Sometimes they'll do it standing in place, sometimes they'll move from one side of the room to the other (but never further, because remember the actors would fall off the set if they walked too far). Just twirling. Even in the moments when they're just climbing that big spire they don't talk to eachother.


1. In defense of RotS (which, if I were forced at gunpoint to choose my favorite Star Wars movie, would probably be my choice... despite how dangerous doing so under such circumstances would be :P ) you've basically just described OT-Vader up until the reveal at the end of Empire---and even after that he still isn't a viewpoint character (and we don't see any struggle on his part until the end of RotJ).



2. I... have no idea what that .gif is supposed to be showing.



3. I think you're kinda exaggerating about the fight scene here. I literally just re-watched it, and clearly heard Obi grunt with exertion a number of times (and also once with pain when he got kicked in the face). And there definitely are some slow bits---like when Anakin starts choking Obi, and trying to twist his own lightsaber back on him to cut of his head.


And two of your criticisms contradict each other: you complain that they don't look like they're actually trying to kill each other, and yet you also complain that they don't talk to each other. IMO, that's kind of an either-or proposition---movies to the contrary, people don't tend to do a lot of back-and-forth conversation in the middle of fights where they're really trying to kill each other (the fight with Maul is a good example of this---not a single word is exchanged between the two sides).

Plus the music during the fight is great (not quite Duel of the Fates great, but that's a high bar to clear). All in all, it's my second-favorite lightsaber battle.