Thursday, December 17, 2015

Fixing The Phantom Menace

Here we are. After a thirty-two year wait, finally, her eon December 17th, 2015, the world will finally be able to watch the sequel to Return of the Jedi. What a glorious day. The last thing anyone needs to do on a day like today is dredge up old wounds and talk about the last Star Wars movie that opened to massive, massive hype following a long break between films. You know, The Phantom Menace
No, nobody wants that.

But let's do it anyway.

Now I am not doing this to take another crap on the prequels. But, they are fresh in my mind, as I geared up for the new film by rewatching all 6. In doing so, I was struck by a surprising thought--The Phantom Menace isn't that bad. No, really. There are far worse movies out there. Believe me.

But it isn't that good, either. Now that I've written a book or two, and made some mistakes along the way, I've discovered a couple of things. One, I am more forgiving when things go wrong. Creating plots and characters that entertain and make sense is hard. Really hard.
Two, when things do go wrong, I like to brainstorm on how these plots and characters could be fixed. I have to do it with my own stories all the time, so it's only natural that the urge would strike me while viewing others. 

Which brings me to Episode One. How would I make it better? Can it be fixed? Could it have gone from mediocre to good, maybe even great? We'll never know. besides, my proposed changes probably suck, too. Even if they don't, George Lucas wasn't exactly going to call me up to serve as a script doctor.  I was like a freshman in college.

Nonetheless, here are five changes that I believe very well may have rescued The Phantom Menace from mediocrity. In the interest of fair play, I tried to hue close to what we were presented with. I don't think it'd be realistic to completely change the plot or remove characters. My hypothetical changes should be looked at as adjustments to the nearly-final draft, not the first.

The Voices
The first change I prose is a simple one--change the voices. Every single voice from a non-human character is horrid. The only exceptions would be Darth Maul--his voice isn't great but it works--it's used sparingly regardless--and holdovers from the original films like Jabba the Hutt, C3PO, etc. Those voices were locked in, whether they worked or not (they all do, though).

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Adolf Hitler in Oz

Review of Adolf Hitler in Oz

This might sound kind of funny, but to me, Oz is a real place.

Then again, maybe that doesn't seem so funny to you. Maybe you grew up watching the famous movie as many times as I did. Maybe you read some of the books, or saw some of the belated sequels. Maybe Oz is real to you, too.

So when I heard that Adolf Hitler was coming to Oz, needless to say, I was concerned. After all, we know what he did to Europe. Would Oz fare any better?