The Bechdel Test or Mo Movie Measure (misnamed as it may be) is a simple formula that tests three simple things in a movie: a) if there are (named) female characters and b) that they talk to each other about c) something other than a man.
Most movies fail this by a mile, including the lions share of the Star Wars saga.
I believe The Phantom Menace (Shmi and Padme) and Attack of the Clones (Padme and Queen Jamillia, Padme and Beru) may be the only Star Wars movies that pass the Bechdel test… Though perhaps barely, Anakin being a topic (but not a romantic one) in all three conversations I’m thinking of. Thoughts?
On the newstand. The 30th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back (and the upcoming Making of The Empire Strikes Back) lands the cover of this week’s Entertainment Weekly. The issue will be on stands (and hopefully in subscriber mailboxes) on Friday.
Prequel madness. With the release of his Attack of the Clones review, MTV has a an two-partinterview with Mr. Plinkett/Mike Stoklasa of Red Letter Media for a sitdown on the reviews, copyright, mocking, and backlash. Meanwhile, Bryan Young continues his defense of The Phantom Menance.
The RedLetterMedia folks return with another multi-part takedown. And just to make things clear, in their own words this is: “Part review satire, part parody, part commentary, all prequel hating vitriolic comedy.” (I guess my percentages were off last time.) You’ve been warned.
I’m only embedding part 1, but here are the links to the rest: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.
“Contrary to what you’ve just seen, war is neither glamorous nor fun. There are no winners; only losers. There are no good wars, with the following exceptions: the American Revolution, World War II, and the Star Wars Trilogy. If you’d like to learn more about war, there’s lots of books in your local library, many of them with cool gory pictures.”
I doubt this Bart Simpson quote is what they had in mind, but Spike TV is celebrating the ultimate result of the first with an airing of the third next weekend. Which is to say, look for a Star Wars movie to air each night leading up to July 4 – beginning tonight at 6pm with The Phantom Menace.
Well, with both trilogies complete and behind us, I’m not sure that those people would have been correct in the least. Lucas improved on quite a bit of “SWEP1″ in the subsequent prequels, while the Wachowskis absolutely crash-landed “The Matrix” in their sequels to it. (Let’s leave off “Speed Racer,” shall we, so as not to be overly cruel….) Especially given a decade of reassessment, I’d call Lucas’ three-film enterprise by far the more successful.
(Via io9, where they are polling, and Star Wars is ‘winning.’ Frustrated childhood dreams rear their ugly heads again!)
And can I just say randomly that The Fifth Element beats them all in capturing the madcap cheesy fun aspect of Star Wars? Or will you stone me?
Lightsabre talks to production designer Gavin Bocquet, who worked on Return of the Jedi, Young Indy, the prequel trilogy and Stardust. Meanwhile, over at EUC, they have author Karen Miller and are taking questions for cover artist Dave Seeley.