Armchair Quarterbacking


Senior Member
Mar 25, 2004
Near Atlanta, GA
Ok, I'm starting an armchair quarterbacking thread. The purpose of this thread is to allow anybody on this board to have a space to armchair quarterback anything. It can be serious (war in Iraq), funny (mimes not sucking), contemporary (The Matrix could have been better), ancient (how not to collapse the Roman Empire), or anything you can think of.

Here's a few rules. These are, by no means, hard and fast, as I'm not a mod, nor would I enforce these rules if I was. These should just make the thread go smoother.

1. Keep things brief. We don't care about the last 1000 years of socioeconomic impact of some obscure treaty, just get to the point.
2. This thread is about what should be/have been done, not what was done wrong (though the two often intertwine), so all armchair quarterbackings need to be mostly your suggestions on how to do things. To put it simply, tell what you would do, not what you wouldn't do.
3. Refrain from responding to one armchair quarterbacking after another one has been posted after it, to keep the thread from being bogged down. If you've got one last point you feel the absolute urge to make, make it, but apologize and try to say something about the current quarterbacking in the post.
Edit: Also, try to give one quarterbacking sufficient time to be commented on once or twice before posting a new one.

I'll begin in the next post.
Armchair Quarterbacking: Star Wars

I was thinking of starting with the sorry state of Christian publicity, but I thought I'd start with a lighter topic.

The prequal trilogy to Star Wars fell flat. There's no denying that. However, there were many redeeming features that could have been exploited and many mistakes corrected that could have turned it around into a better movie.

Fix-it #1: Han Solo
Han Solo was easily the most awesome character in the entire Star Wars saga. Yeah, hokey religions and ancient weapons really were no match for his ability to just be awesome. Problem is, he was still a kid during the original trilogy (didn't stop Darth Vader and Boba fanboy from appearing in Episodes 1 & 2, but still). There was still some potential there, though. Obi-Wan Kenobi filled in a little, but he was too serious to be a good smartass and too much of a good jedi to be a ladies' man.

Solution: The potential was there with two characters, both of whom fell flat in exchange for largely unappealing and idiot characters. The first was Jar Jar Binks. This would, however, involve rebuilding the character, and indeed his entire race, from the ground up. The first step would be to make the whole thing less childish. Give them normal accents. Maybe a nice southern redeckish accent to reflect their backwater nature (and at the same time make them smoother). Alter the look to something that doesn't look like a saturday morning cartoon character. Then, all that's left is rewriting his lines in the Han Solo style, replacing lines like "how wude" with lines like "Sorry sweetheart, but I haven't got time for anything else. *grin*"

The other potential is Anakin Skywalker. He could have fallen to the dark side by being a headstrong, rebellious ladies' man. Instead, he fell to the dark side because he was a crybaby.

Fix-it #2: Special Effects
The digital effects in the prequal were largely cartoonish and there were waaaaaay too many. At one point, they stop becoming special. The stuff was so digital that no starships were built outside hanger sets and there never was a clone trooper outfit. Every single one of those soldiers was digital. Many of the sets were digital, too. Much of it was practically like watching space. In fact, Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), the company that was invented for the original Star Wars and has done many other projects since, is now solely a digital effects company.

Solution: Weta Workshop, which did the effects for the Lord of the Rings trilogy, mastered the use of digital effects and how to blend them with shots of real stuff to make it believable. While digital effects made such things as the city-planet of Coruscant and fighting Yoda possible, it was overused. The clone troopers in the foreground should have been costumed. Many of the spaceships should have been miniatures. The end result would have been the gritty realism that was so appealing about the original.

Fix-it #3: Bad Writing + Bad Acting = Crap
Natalie Portman and that kid who did Anakin in Episode one were crap in Episode 1 (Portman got better). The guy who did Anakin in the other two movies wasn't much better. They all needed an acting coach. I've already mentioned Jar Jar, but the love story between Anakin and Padme was cornier than a fertile Nebraska field. They needed to get experienced romance writers for that part, rather than scifi geeks, who, for all of their virtues, cannot write romance.

Last One, I Promise: Episode One moved too slowly
Why have your characters do anything when they can talk about doing things? I have never seen so much talking over trade disputes and so much buildup to one race in an action movie before. Rule 1 when making an action movie is to have action, not endless conversations about trade disputes and high performance racing in which little is said that is of actual value.

Anyway, that's how I would've saved Star Wars. Any other takers?

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