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Vinylshadow
Mar 20, 2017


Jar Jar was fine

Not all of his scenes were fine

But Jar Jar was fine

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Timeless Appeal
May 28, 2006


Jar Jar is kind of a weird character when you draw the parallels between TMP and ANH. Because he is taking the position of Luke Skywalker as this hapless rube whose path crosses with two people who just escaped a space adventure and need to find a Princess. Except he also knows where to find this Princess and sets them up with their transportation, so he's also being positioned as Obi-Wan and Han Solo in different ways.

Anyway, he's still not the protagonist because the functionally a mystery story with Jedi Sherlock and Holmes against Palpatine who ends up being a real Dr. Moriarty like figure --but it's also a sword and sandals movie and political thriller sometimes.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


Timeless Appeal posted:

Jar Jar is kind of a weird character when you draw the parallels between TMP and ANH. Because he is taking the position of Luke Skywalker as this hapless rube whose path crosses with two people who just escaped a space adventure and need to find a Princess. Except he also knows where to find this Princess and sets them up with their transportation, so he's also being positioned as Obi-Wan and Han Solo in different ways.

Anyway, he's still not the protagonist because the functionally a mystery story with Jedi Sherlock and Holmes against Palpatine who ends up being a real Dr. Moriarty like figure --but it's also a sword and sandals movie and political thriller sometimes.

Quigon is just a focal character. He gets mistaken for the protagonist because he's a white dude.

pospysyl
Nov 10, 2012

SO EMBARRASSING



I love the scene where Qui Gon uses the Jedi mind trick on Boss Nass. From Qui Gon's perspective he's gotten one over on the dumb primitive, but from Boss Nass' view he's sent the most annoying Gungan and two racist intruders into certain death and only has to give up one crappy shuttle in order to do it.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




Hey, nobody likes an armed missionary.

Blood Boils posted:

Ani + Obi shouldn't even be considered friends from work, they've never had voluntary employment. They're warrior monks who were recruited as children!

If you want comparable relationships you need to look at soldiers and clergy
Indeed, they're monks and Anakin is Obi-Wan's novice. Their relationship isn't quite father and son, or older and younger brother, or boss and employee, it's a weird and dysfunctional thing of its own. It has very straightforward historical analogues, just not ones that immediately make sense to someone raised in a modern nuclear family.

2house2fly
Nov 14, 2012

You did a super job wrapping things up! And I'm not just saying that because I have to!

SuperMechagodzilla posted:

Quigon is just a focal character. He gets mistaken for the protagonist because he's a white dude.

What defines a protagonist?

Glottis
May 29, 2002

No. It's necessary.


Yam Slacker

2house2fly posted:

What defines a protagonist?

well I recently watched Tenet, so I'm pretty sure it's when the character is literally named "Protagonist"

sponges
Sep 14, 2011



SuperMechagodzilla posted:

The worst Star Wars movie was released in 1983, and the best/last one was released in 2005.

You have this interesting juxtaposition of steadfast confidence in your opinion and a remarkable bad taste in cinema. Itís kinda fascinating to see.

Timeless Appeal
May 28, 2006


SuperMechagodzilla posted:

Quigon is just a focal character. He gets mistaken for the protagonist because he's a white dude.
Eh, I don't fully agree with this because like I said there's a mystery aspect to the plot and he's probably the most driving force there.

But when Jar Jar Binks is read in racial or ethnic terms--not to unpack design or voice--some of it does come from his Friday like role in the film. He is incredibly helpful and our Jedi heroes would be lost without him, but he's never acknowledged as such. The Jedi take his support for their adventures as a given. I don't think he necessarily drives the plot, but he's more active in its movement than at least the majority of the characrers. So, I think there is definitely something to your statement.

Timeless Appeal fucked around with this message at 17:35 on Apr 21, 2021

Schwarzwald
Jul 27, 2004

Don't Blink


sponges posted:

You have this interesting juxtaposition of steadfast confidence in your opinion and a remarkable bad taste in cinema. Itís kinda fascinating to see.

That's everyone in CD.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

The greatest sensual pleasure there is is to know the desires of another!



Fun Shoe

Actually I have good taste but no confidence

The United States
Jul 18, 2004

Please grab the extinguisher


Melman v2

SuperMechagodzilla posted:

The worst Star Wars movie was released in 1983, and the best/last one was released in 1984.

TheLoquid
Nov 5, 2008


Timeless Appeal posted:

Eh, I don't fully agree with this because like I said there's a mystery aspect to the plot and he's probably the most driving force there.

But when Jar Jar Binks is read in racial or ethnic terms--not to unpack design or voice--some of it does come from his Friday like role in the film. He is incredibly helpful and our Jedi heroes would be lost without him, but he's never acknowledged as such. The Jedi take his support for their adventures as a given. I don't think he necessarily drives the plot, but he's more active in its movement than at least the majority of the characters. So, I think there is definitely something to your statement.

One of the things that makes TPM such a dysfunctional mess is that five characters partake in the form of protagonist, but none of them consistently do it for the whole story. Anakin is the blessed child lifted out of obscurity who saves the day by disabling the enemy army, but he has no agency for basically the entire film. Qui Gon Jim drives the plot on Tatooine, but is also the mentor who can no longer protect the hero in the final act. Obi Wan defeats the black knight and avenges his mentor, but makes few decisions and generally acts as Qui Gon's Watson for the vast majority of the film. Jar Jar is the plucky underdog who gets by on heart and luck, but he also is unbearable. Padme is the dispossessed royal who refuses to abandon her people and insists on taking action, but also basically doesn't have an arc. The lack of a focal point character whose arc anchors the story makes the story janky and awkward. This helps to explain why the the climax is so fractured and tonally dissonant - the story doesn't know who matters, so the audience is pulled in five directions.

Kart Barfunkel
Nov 10, 2009



SuperMechagodzilla posted:

The worst Star Wars movie was released in 1983, the best one was released in 2002 and the last one was released in 2005.

No Mods No Masters
Oct 3, 2004

You thought, "A robber must hate you to want to take from you"
The robber don't hate you


You need to let go of these ideas that there has to be a protagonist, or that characters have to have arcs, or that the audience needs someone to relate to. Other kinds of movie are possible

2house2fly
Nov 14, 2012

You did a super job wrapping things up! And I'm not just saying that because I have to!

Padme does have an arc

Timeless Appeal
May 28, 2006


TheLoquid posted:

One of the things that makes TPM such a dysfunctional mess is that five characters partake in the form of protagonist, but none of them consistently do it for the whole story. Anakin is the blessed child lifted out of obscurity who saves the day by disabling the enemy army, but he has no agency for basically the entire film. Qui Gon Jim drives the plot on Tatooine, but is also the mentor who can no longer protect the hero in the final act. Obi Wan defeats the black knight and avenges his mentor, but makes few decisions and generally acts as Qui Gon's Watson for the vast majority of the film. Jar Jar is the plucky underdog who gets by on heart and luck, but he also is unbearable. Padme is the dispossessed royal who refuses to abandon her people and insists on taking action, but also basically doesn't have an arc. The lack of a focal point character whose arc anchors the story makes the story janky and awkward. This helps to explain why the the climax is so fractured and tonally dissonant - the story doesn't know who matters, so the audience is pulled in five directions.
Eh, I don't think any of those choices are really the secret reason TPM is not a great movie. When we think of protagonist as a character whose wants and desires trigger the movement of the story, OG Star Wars has R2-D2 as the film's clear protagonist until Obi-Wan shifts in and really takes the role, and then he dies and Luke has to step up.

Funny enough, I do think you could get a much cleaner movie of actually just making Jar Jar Binks Anakin. Anakin is part of a tribe of outlanders on the poor side of Naboo who hate the stupid royal family, yadda yadda. So to support SMG's point, you could imagine a version of the movie where Anakin takes a pretty similar role, and many would call him the protagonist or at least the main character.

Bongo Bill
Jan 17, 2012



The second act of Return of the Jedi sags a bit. Nothing in the prequels is quite so sloppy.

Robot Style
Jul 5, 2009



The "Episode I has no protagonist" argument seems weird to me, since it completely ignores the existence of ensemble films. Like, even just sticking with genre schlock, who's the protagonist of Ghostbusters, or The Avengers?

Even the RLM-type arguments for why none of the characters count as a protagonist don't really stand up to scrutiny.

The Jedi aren't protagonists because they're "just on some mission" and aren't personally invested, and are "boring".
Tons of movies have protagonists who are motivated by their occupation. James Bond certainly doesn't have a personal connection to every mission he undertakes, but nobody would say he isn't a protagonist.
And being a "boring' character doesn't preclude someone from being a protagonist - one of RLM's examples of Acceptable Protagonists is Neo from The Matrix, and that guy is the platonic ideal of a Blank Slate character.

Amidala isn't a protagonist, because she's "just some foreign queen" that the movie isn't specifically about.
This is pretty dumb - the entire conflict of the movie revolves around the planet she's the Queen of. I guess her personal investment in the situation doesn't count because...?

Anakin isn't a protagonist because he's introduced too late in the movie and he doesn't understand the situation or world he's brought into.
A character being brought into an unfamiliar world is literally what they say a genre movie protagonist should be, so Anakin fits that pretty well.
Also, Han Solo's not introduced until nearly 50 minutes into A New Hope, but he's certainly one of the protagonist characters there.

They don't even mention Jar Jar, who fits all of their alleged criteria:
  • An "every day kind of schlub"
  • Down on his luck / in a bad place in his life / nothing goes right for him
  • Confronted with an obstacle or struggle (his planet is invaded by robots)
  • Finds himself at a low point, where it seems like all is lost (Realizes that the gungans will be killed too if the Trade Federation wins)
  • Grows and makes a change (bridges the Naboo and the Gungans, becoming a general in the army)

Guy A. Person
May 23, 2003



Basebf555 posted:

Actually I have good taste but no confidence

Roth
Jul 9, 2016


My opinions are all the correct ones.

Kharn_The_Betrayer
Nov 15, 2013



Fun Shoe

I have confidence because i have no taste.

teagone
Jun 10, 2003

That was pretty intense, huh?

Basebf555 posted:

Actually I have good taste but no confidence

Yeah? Well I have no confidence too, but also have bad taste!

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The REAL Goobusters
Apr 25, 2008



I have good taste and confidence and I can safely say that the Disney Sequels are Bad Movies

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