“Serenity” was not a particularly original or compelling story at all; it was, in fact, very cliche and predictable, replying on some fairly standard sci-fi plot points and a depressing overemphasis on Teenaged Karate Girl Power, a Whedon standby.
The thing is, with respect to Episodes 1-3, you can’t just go off on a tangent; if you want to redo them you’re still essentially locked into portraying the fall of Anakin Skywalker and the destruction of the Jedi as the core story. Everyone knows what’s happening, the question is how competently you can portay it. Why would Whedon do that especially well? I’ll grant it’s hard to believe anyone could do worse, but why Joss Whedon and not five hundred other guys? I’d rather see a Baz Luhrmann interpretation, or Spike Lee. Whedon was given the opportunity to make a completely original sci-fi movie, and he cooked up a rather unmemorable, by-the-numbers plot, with some scenes so cliche I was cringing. Book’s death scene was just appallingly bad, for instance.
Joss Whedon’s thing is clever, ironic dialogue. That would, quite frankly, be totally out of place in “Star Wars,” which is supposed to be humourous but earnest.
To his credit, though, Whedon’s other strength is that he creates moments where he draws a lot of subtle humanity out of his characters; the scene towards the end of “Serenity” where Mal and Zoe are talking about the ship, but really are talking about Zoe, was very skillfully done. Christ knows Episodes 1-3 could have used some of that.
If Whedon had written Episodes 1-3, at least they would have had a coherent storyline, sparkling dialogue, and wouldn’t have created so many plot holes and inconsistancies as to render the originals sieves. If Joss had directed them, then we wouldn’t have had to suffer through some of the worst acting ever put on film. He would have hired decent actors to begin with, and made them act.
I don’t know. I mean, I’m a total Whedon mark, but Star Wars is Star Wars and Whedon is Whedon. I agree with silenus that Whedon has at least a bit of directorial competence that Lucas lost somewhere, but I can’t help but think that his “voice” would be wrong for the project.
Most of the problems with the prequels were so basic that any halfway decent film school graduate could have caught and corrected them, if he wasn’t overawed or overruled by Lucas. Anyone could have made these things better, if Lucas listened to them.
I’m a Whedon fan myself, but I don’t think he could redo SWI-III. It’s just not his kind of story. I suppose if an investor gave him a shitload of money and said “I want you to ‘reimagine’ Star Wars and btw I bought the rights so this is totally legit what do you say?” and Joss said OK … Well, he’d produce something interesting, I’m sure, but it would be as different from the original SW as the new BG is from the 1970’s version, if not more so.
Of course, Hollywood being what it is, it’s fairly inevitable that someday someone will remake them. Just give it twenty years.
Whedon has a tendency to write smart, witty dialog, and this board just so happens to attract members who enjoy the occasional bit of smart, witty dialog. Aside from the fact that he also excels in character development and fascinating storylines (although one could argue his real talent lies in the medium of long-form television drama rather than film), there’s your explanation for why he’s so well-received on the Dope.
If you ask me, I think he could’ve done a much better job with Episodes I-III than Lucas, but so would most people on the planet (note: hyperbole).
I agree with this completely. Serenity bored me to tears, and I found Buffy similarly a study in tedious fetishizing of grrrl power and overlong dialogue. I simply cannot understand the Whedon worship around here.
And I think a Whedon SW would just be replacing one disaster with another. Instead of lightsabre battles you’d get endless, self-indulgently snooze-inducing repartee between Jedi and Sith. They’d force-chat each other to death, and then Queen Padme would be left take out the Emperor with mad telekinetic powerrzzz.
Wow, I’ve never encountered anyone else who agreed with me on the whole Whedon cult of the warrior-chick the way RickJay and Loopydude seem to. I’ve always thought the whole thing was SO stupid. Tarantino’s fetishized female assassins in the Kill Bill movies also make me feel the same way. I have no interest in the mostly Japanese-influenced killer chick pop culture mythos.
First of all it strikes me as phony and fake, a cinematic invention which flies in the face of the historical truth which is that women are generally not killers. And this is good! If women ran the world I’m sure there would be much less violence. But this girl-power thing is simply not how the world works. Fighting and killing is a man’s world through and through. Particularly in Japanese culture which is EXTREMELY patriarchal and has no tradition whatsoever of females fighting. Therefore I find the whole anime/manga girl-ninja/assassin/mercenary bullshit to be ridiculous, unrealistic, and annoying.
Natalie Portman, Ewan MacGregor, and Hayden Christiansen are all fine actors (yes, even Hayden…check out Life as a House sometime). The poor acting was less a product of the quality of actors and more a result of Lucas’ terriblly written dialogue. The actors did the best they could with the material they were given.
Christiansen can act, the evidence does exist. For that matter, so can Samuel L. Jackson and Liam Neeson and everyone else in the prequels. They just had shitty dialogue and shitty stories to deal with and you can’t overcome that (although MacGregor had some good moments.)