WhatCulture fights 10 misconceptions about the Star Wars Prequels

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“10. Everything Was Shot On Blue Screen

Before we get into the stuff that’s up for debate, let’s kick off with one that’s objectively untrue. The sets of the Prequels weren’t all blue or green screen. Over the course of the three movies, location filming included locations in England, Italy, Spain, and Tunisia, with second unit work in Switzerland, Thailand, and Sicily. And as behind the scenes material shows, full or partial sets were very much the rule rather than the exception.

A lot of the time, if a set wasn’t built, it was either because it was a reshoot (Attack Of The Clones’ droid factory sequence) or for practical reasons. The Jedi Temple’s beacon control room is a model because it’s only onscreen for a few seconds. Which would make building the full set a complete waste of time and money. While the Geonosian arena was simply too massive to build as a set. So a miniature was constructed and composited into action shot on blue screen.

Which is exactly the way the Original Trilogy was done. Parts of Cloud City, the bridge of Darth Vader’s Super Star Destroyer, and rooms on both Death Stars were all partial sets filled out by matte paintings. In that sense, the Prequels are no different from the Original Trilogy.

9. The Effects Were All CGI

Another criticism of the Prequels that is objectively false is the idea that all of the effects were CGI. In fact, per the official Star Wars Twitter account: each Prequel used more models and miniatures than the entire Original Trilogy put together.

We could spend all day playing “Real or CGI” with these movies but you all have lives. A few instances that really deserve credit though are the Podrace, which used puppets, scale and full size Podracers, and sand made in a cement mixer that was precisely calculated to the right scale (Which presumably got everywhere).

And Mustafar, which included an ironically named miniature measuring roughly 1000 square feet that was shot for four months, and second unit footage of Mt Etna filmed while it was erupting. The dedication is strong in this one.

This misconception is probably one that gradually built up over time, because of a mix of some of the more experimental CGI looking a bit ropey and conspicuous, and George Lucas discussing the use of new digital technology while not talking about the practical side of things.

Which is understandable on some levels since, at that point, model-work and miniatures were pretty much part of the furniture while CGI was the new filmmaking frontier.

8. The Aesthetic Is Wrong

A lesser seen problem that some have with the Prequels is that they don’t match the used future aesthetic of the Original Trilogy and feel too clean. But do they really need to?

The reason the Original Trilogy featured a used future look was because our heroes were a ragtag band of Rebels far away from the bright centre of the universe. Apart from Tatooine and Bespin, we don’t visit any civilised worlds. While the Prequels are the exact opposite of that, with their most prominent setting being Coruscant, the glittering home of the galaxy’s elite.

But what seems to get ignored is that the Prequels use a dirtier and more beat up look when the story calls for it. Geonosis is an arid world with a weapons factory cranking out cheap Battle Droids so it’s full of dust, smoke, and grime. While Kamino is a deliberately sterile medical facility with a very bare look to it.

It’s like the Death Star having a much cleaner and more stark feel than somewhere like the Mos Eisley Cantina. It’s because it’s a rigorously maintained military station rather than a dive bar in the back end of space. A location’s appearance comes from its role in the story.

There’s room for discussion about the effects of the Prequels’ colour grading and shooting on digital videotape, but the Prequels not completely copying the aesthetic of the Original Trilogy isn’t a flaw. It’s an artistic decision made based on the story being told.”

Read the full article at WhatCulture.

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3 thoughts on “WhatCulture fights 10 misconceptions about the Star Wars Prequels

  1. the article would be fine IF THEY DIDN’T SAY SOME OF THE PROBLEMS IN THE FILMS WERE LUCAS FAULT ON THE FIRST PAGE THERE WERE NO PROBLEMS WITH THE PREQUUELS WHATCULTURE IS A LOAD OF GARBAGE

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    • I agree, I tired of all these excuses. Go see the $&&$ that wins all the oscars and what “great acting”, “great writings” means to these lobotomized people.

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      • and now they have an article called 5 ways ridley scott is the new george lucas wisely decide not to read it whatculture can go f**k themselves

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