About Me

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Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Clone Wars premieres Tonight!

I am terribly excited!

In the spirit of this, if you have a Star Wars related question for me, I am prepared to answer it. I am in the mood. I am your one-stop shop for too-much-interest in Star Wars.

Update: I am a happy guy. Short, compact, well-constructed, and a good mix in tone between the prequels visuals and the more zippy tone of the originals. They play like the best Saturday Morning Cartoon Star Wars fans could ask for.

Am I dating myself? Do they still show "Saturday Morning Cartoons?"


David D. said...

Is it true that there is absolutely no paper in any of the Star Wars movies? That it is a sort of paperless universe?

Freeman said...

I'm actually sort of going through my head thinking of places paper might have appeared. None at the Lars homestead, no paper in the deals made the the Jawas, none at the Jedi Temple, Yoda doesn't write stuff down.

I'm sure it's the Buck Rodgers future thing at work. "In the future, we'll all use little screens instead of paper!"

Or maybe the people of the Star Wars universe just love Trees.

Mark said...

How is it that the three awful prequels did so little to diminish your enthusiasm for the Star Wars universe? I used to be a huge fan and the limp material Lucas shoehorned in over the past 10 years has completely destroyed my enthusiasm. I literally have to pretend the subsequent movies don't exist in order to regain a little sliver of what I once felt for that universe.

Freeman said...

Man, oh man. I have to say, that's something people just politely don't ask me these days, because all that sentiment was sort of ubiquitous since Episode I. I think everyone tends to either wince at me or just let it go. I'm sure for some people, it calls my taste into such question that they doubt I should be allowed to vote.

For me...honestly, I sort of saw the good in the prequels and didn't let it over weight what the flaws were. I think there's nothing in Revenge of the Sith, for example, that's any worse than what was in Return of the Jedi. In some ways, Episode III does a better job of feeling like a fantastic spectacle than Episode VI did. It also features some honestly good stuff from Ian McDiarmid, who I think everyone confesses raised the bar in all his scenes.

Basically, I think there overall story of the prequels worked. Execution in places was lax, but some of that is simply a style issue. Some of it honestly fails (I don't find the love story very convincing either) but the basic irony of the Clone Wars is pretty sharp, and so is how the whole thing builds to the end of the Republic. I know I'm in the minority there but it's honestly how I feel.

Here's what's good, to me, about the prequels:

1. The way the Jedi Order falls almost by way of its own orthodoxy.

2. The smart way in which Palpatine comes to power.

3. Plenty of perfect great crowd pleasing moments (In the theaters, even miserable crowds cheered for Darth Maul vs Obi-Wan, Yoda's first breakout fight, Anakin getting burned to a crisp.)

4. Execution aside, the idea of Anakin's fall being an inability to let go of stuff sort of humanizes what becomes fascism.

5. A lot of wish fulfillment for fans like me. Tons of Jedi Fighting, Clones, Bounty Hunters, Coruscant, the birth of Vader, etc, etc.

What didn't?

1. Some dialogue was sloppy or even cringe-worthy.

2. Natalie Portman looked like she was being forced to be in the movies at gun point.

3. Sam Jackson distracts me.

4. Jake Lloyd was a bit too young for the part in Episode I.

5. Didn't love some of the editing in Episode II (you can tell pick-up shots by Obi-Wans beard!)

6. A few moments that could have been awesome being a little flat. Yoda running for it, for example.

It's all detail-y stuff.

I guess, early on, I just got behind the overall prequels and saw the what I wanted to there. I'm sure some of that is an active decision on my part, but it hasn't really harmed my enthusiasm for something that's made me so happy for so long.

Heck, I thought the recent Clone Wars movie was pretty weak. I'm still sure that these shorter episodes will work.

So yeah...that's my attitude in a nutshell.

ian mackenzie said...

Well argued Matt!

Here's my question:

How come only Jedi's use lightsabers?

Matthew Trumbull said...

are the stormtroopers meant to be former clone warriors? or has the empire recruited actual...spacepeople?

Brian said...

Is there any spin-off material written after we know Luke and Leia were brother and sister, but taking place between we knew, that plays up Luke's romantic interest in Leia?

Because that would be true to the source material, but kind of icky.

Seth said...

Trivia Question for Freeman: before the word of god retcon in Episode 2, what was Boba Fett's real name?

(And Brian: yes, there is. There was a novel written between Episodes 4 and 5 (Splinter of the Mind'e Eye, I believe) that played on this.)

Floyd said...

to me the weakness of the series was always the lack of werewolves. Why were there no werewolves. Additionally, I only saw a unicorn once. (Not in the series. In real life) Why is that? Will there be werewolves in the Clone War cartoon?

Seth said...

Floyd: do Shistavanens count?

David Johnston said...

Should I see any of these movies?

ian mackenzie said...

David –

You have got to see Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. Hayden Christensen throws an epic tantrum!

David Johnston said...

Well. He's cute. Maybe I'll Netflix it. After Herzog.

Freeman said...

Ian -

Jedi use lightsabers because its an elegant weapon and it's question of skill and discipline to use one. It's "civilized." Think Samurai Warriors.

Trumbull -

The stormtrooper in the later films are recruits.

Brian -

You know what? I wouldn't be surprised if the novel Splinter of the Mind's Eye has some overtones, or the comics released right after the original film. I don't, honestly, remember.

Seth -

Jaster Masereel.

Floyd -

There's a "werewolf" Jedi in the Tartakovsky Clone Wars series. Noted by Seth, again. Hi Seth. Welcome!

David J. -

Yes. They make reference to Leni Reifenstahl's work in the first movie. You like references. The also steal brazenly from Kurosawa.

Freeman said...

I'm sorry, by the way. It's spelled "Jaster Mereel." That's some Expanded Universe fun for all you kids.

RVCBard said...

When using the Force to move stuff, is the difficulty of the technique based on mass or consciousness?

Freeman said...

Size matters not.

Dan Freeman said...

No question from me, I already know the size of your garden variety Womp Rat.

But I did want to assure you that indeed the Saturday morning tradition is still alive and well

Our little brother David was watching avidly up until a year ago

bfuqua said...

Do you guys EVER get laid?

Freeman said...

Of course! I... *cough*...what? I ...


Dan Freeman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freeman said...

Ahem. Thanks for that, Dan.

Dan Freeman said...

So, how was the show...

bfuqua said...

Ahh, good times...