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Does anyone else feel that the new films ruined the ending of ROTJ?

Discussion in 'Original Trilogy' started by VOODOO, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. Kraven Head

    Kraven Head Rebelscum

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    I base my opinions on what we saw on screen.
    You obviously have me at a disadvantage if you're referencing 3rd party websites (and assuming everything on the internet is true..)
    Mashable... never heard of it.

    Cheers, KH
     
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  2. eeprom

    eeprom Force Sensitive

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    I absolutely agree. I also recognize that, while I have no particular affection for it, it may very well be someone else’s undisputedly favorite thing. And if they feel that element, which is key to their enjoyment (for whatever reason), has been diminished or negated in some way, I don’t see why having that perspective and then sharing that perspective should be discouraged. I’d prefer folks be open to alternative points of view, but if they’re not and merely want to vent, well that’s fine too. They’re allowed.
    He only fulfilled ‘part’ of the prophecy though. Which, from what I can discern, is the general grievance. Anakin was also supposed to have destroyed the Sith. The ending of ROTJ very much promotes this component as satisfied. The ending of TROS very much promotes it had not. That might not matter to either of us, but if it does matter to someone else, they’re not wrong. Those two ends don’t meet. Just because something doesn’t matter to you doesn’t mean it shouldn’t matter to anyone else. People get to decide that for themselves.
    Sure. And if the movie had revealed that Ben’s dad was actually Jabba the Hutt all along, then THAT would be the reality of the film. That’s what it thinks happened. Well, OK, but that doesn’t mean a segment of the audience is unjustified in pointing out how that doesn’t totally track. It’s like draping a “Mission Accomplished” banner over an aircraft carrier one year into a war that’s still being fought almost two decades later. You can say whatever you like. If it doesn’t jive with what’s observable though, then it’s incongruent.

    If anything, the sequels have definitely improved my perspective on the prophetic element. I used to think it was merely superfluous. Now I think it’s outright hilarious. So this long foretold vision of the future, passed down for centuries, from generation to generation, about this destined ‘chosen one’, this preordained savior of the universe, was that he’d set the scales of the Force right again . . . for about twenty-ish or so years? Hell, The Simpsons have been on TV for longer than Anakin’s oh so crucial balancing of the Force held up :D That’s some straight comedy. The saddest of trombones. I love it!
    Again, that’s a perfectly valid interpretation. Here’s another:

    “You don't need guidance, Anakin. In time, you will learn to trust your feelings. Then you will be invincible. I have said it many times: You are the most gifted Jedi I have ever met...I see you becoming the greatest of all the Jedi, Anakin, even more powerful than Master Yoda.” This scene is immediately followed by the one where Obi-Wan says “His abilities have made him, well, arrogant.” Linking the two scenes causally.

    We don’t have to dig very deep to decipher the cryptic clues behind the impulse of Anakin’s inflated ego and exaggerated sense of self. George fashioned them into an Ian McDiarmid shaped boxing glove and punched us in the face with it. A straight line can be drawn between that exchange and “I will be the most powerful Jedi ever!” It’s right there on the screen. Another straight line can then be drawn from that moment back to Palps in the opera house scene. Palpatine wants Anakin to want more than what the Jedi can offer him. That’s the ploy.

    I’m glad you found an internal method for attaching the ‘chosen one’ bobble to character development, but that’s not really something the story itself is telling us. It’s a cool read though. If that had actually been a focused component of the story, it probably would have been pretty affecting.
    What scrutiny are you referring to specifically though? Can you provide an example? We know Obi-Wan, as his teacher, is positioned as being overbearing at times, and that can be connected back to his own obligation to fulfilling his promise to Qui-Gon. That dynamic is related to the prophecy, I guess, since that was Qui-Gon’s personal motivation (not Obi-Wan's though). But, otherwise, who else are we talking about?
     
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  3. Jayson

    Jayson Force Sensitive

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    I want to be very clear here, in case there's any misunderstanding.
    I never want people to "Toe the line" on film interpretation, and feel everyone is openly entitled to how a film struck them.
    I discuss and debate in a "matter of fact" sort of tonality, but that doesn't mean that my views on cinema reception are dictatorial.

    There are things, for example, that Lucas himself says about his meaning or intentions with Star Wars that, while I understand his point of view and may even agree with his view, think means very little because the mass reception of the films by people didn't take that understanding.

    One such sort of view of his is that Lucas is very big on saying that these are his films and he makes them for himself, and if people don't like something he does, then too bad.
    I don't agree with that line of thinking. It's paramount to saying that if a large number of people understood the art differently than he intended, then there's no flexibility or tolerance for them. By definition of the medium of the art, this is just simply not useful as a way of thinking.

    If I intend a certain understanding, but nearly everyone comes out with a different one, then I need to work on my communication. The answer isn't that people need to work on their ability to be an audience. That's just simply not how it works.

    In a larger context, it also negates the point of film as an art - introspection.
    Film always reflects some aspect of life - regardless how trite or serious the film takes itself, it is communicating something from human existence, and each of us as an audience member brings our own experiences to a film as half of the interaction.

    If everyone is speaking English, and you start talking in Latin, then it's not the listener's problem that you are speaking in Latin. Every artist has to attend to the reality that the audience receptacle of the mind comes preloaded with what kinds of plugs it is adaptable with. If you try to shove a European plug into an American outlet without employing an adapter to help with the translation, then you're ignoring the functional pragmatism of the medium.

    Further on this tangent, Lucas also is almost pridefully esoteric. I personally love esotericism. We both know that about me - we've talked about it quite a few times.
    But Lucas is quite happy to just note that the nuances of his films in totality will fly over the head of most people, rather than showcasing any of those nuances to anyone. Again, I think this is backwards.
    While I might find it enjoyable to pick at those nuances, I think it's silly that one has to pick at them and do a lot of digging to even piece together what he's doing.
    No one has to pick at the nuances of Alfred Hitchcock to, "get it". Lucas is a rather bit too elitist in my view. I love his work, but I greatly disagree with his creative philosophies.

    In summary, everyone is widely open to their own views.
    I will, however, remark upon them as I am compelled to do so, and I believe everyone should.

    I only write and speak in a matter of fact tonality because that's the language of my thoughts. It may, quite possibly, come off as bothersome to some - I'm aware of that, but there's not much I can do about that beyond what I already attempt to do because I'm not going to be able to accurately predict what others will or will not take offense at in my perceived tonality because - not only is that a challenge regardless because of theory of mind and the internet - but I also have asperger's, so it's unlikely that I'll realize when something I think is rather benign and simply plainly stated might strike someone as blunt or aggressively dismisses their right to an opinion.
    (I'm not talking about name calling - I'm referring to regular discourse)

    I mean absolutely no disrespect to anyone in my approach to conversation, and on a general level I intend to be pleasant, nice, and helpful (though I admit I have absolutely, and wrongfully, lost my composure rather embarrassingly in the past a few times...and I really hope I do more good than harm).

    That seems quite open to debate.
    No one really seems to agree on this, and as far as I can tell there appears sufficient evidence for both interpretations.

    The reason that I go with the film and its creator's position is because I've always held that when all else fails, look to the creators.
    Just because in the absence of clarity on screen where it occurs, it just seems reasonable to defer to a creator's point of view on a subject and accept any slight issues with it to be a failure on their part to perfectly communicate what they intended to communicate.

    Taxi Driver is a good example of this. A lot of people take the ending to signify that Travis is all fine. But Scorsese and Schrader both have said that their intension was to convey that he's a ticking time bomb with the final shot.

    Now, they definitely got it wrong with articulating that point clearly, but if we turn to the creator's intentions when we're confused, then there's a sort of absolute answer in one form - the intended understanding of the film.

    That, however, doesn't mean that any other understanding is outright wrong (most of the time - there are some extreme instances where that doesn't hold true).
    It just means that, to me, that other view is to be taken as at odds with the official meaning and narrative of the story.

    There are instances where I myself carry views which differ from the official meaning and narrative of a story. I will also accept that I differ from that official position, and recognize the official standing as the primary valid one.

    A good example of this within Star Wars is that I see A New Hope as a film about Han Solo; not Luke Skywalker. There's a bunch of reasons for this, but I also accept that by the official intended meaning, my interpretation is not true to the reality of the Star Wars film's narrative reality.

    Which, I'm somewhat overlapping with the next part of your discourse already, so instead I'm going to use that part to point something else out...

    Which, quite literally, happened in the OT.
    Before there was ever a question about whether TROS nullified ROTJ, there was another similar question.
    Did ESB nullify ANH?

    If we take ANH literally, and ignore the creator's intentions, then ... from a literal reading of the films, yes. Yes it did.
    The opening crawl of ANH is:

    It is a period of civil war. Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire. During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet. Pursued by the Empire’s sinister agents, Princess Leia races home aboard her starship, custodian of the stolen plans that can save her people and restore freedom to the galaxy….
    "Custodian of the stolen plans that can save her people and restore freedom to the galaxy"

    They did that. Plans received. Tactic employed. Death Star destroyed. Freedom restored to the galaxy.

    But...no, not really.

    It is a dark time for the Rebellion. Although the Death Star has been destroyed, Imperial troops have driven the Rebel forces from their hidden base and pursued them across the galaxy. Evading the dreaded Imperial Starfleet, a group of freedom fighters led by Luke Skywalker has established a new secret base on the remote ice world of Hoth. The evil lord Darth Vader, obsessed with finding young Skywalker, has dispatched thousands of remote probes into the far reaches of space….​

    Well...OK, one of a few things happened here logically (as an example).
    A) The Rebels succeeded, restored freedom to the galaxy, but the Empire came back in spite of the Death Star being destroyed allegedly restoring freedom to the galaxy. So this view is essentially equal to saying: "Very short lived freedom for the galaxy" ... I mean, they didn't even establish a new government with all of that new found freedom.

    B) The opening crawl speaks from the knowledge and perspective of the Rebels and the Rebels were wrong to assume that the Death Star's destruction would restore freedom to the galaxy.

    C) The wording on the crawl is a mess, and Lucas intended to convey that they would only restore freedom temporarily but that evil would be back shortly.

    D) The film has a retconned mess on its hands because it attempted to provide a conclusive ending to itself, but then kept going after having already concluding the plot that was set up to be resolved in ANH.

    What we can't say, however, is that because ESB said the Empire was back, that regardless - it wasn't.
    The only way to do that is to simply deny the rest of the series, more or less, from ESB on and stop at ANH.

    Now, no one cares about this mess up like people have come to care about the prophecy (because no one cared about that at one point in time either, but the whole Clone Wars/EU thing really got a lot of folks super into the mythology of that prophecy), so it's not a "real problem".

    Which is why I can use it as an example - because no one cares, so there's nearly no one who holds the view that ESB invalidated ANH ... now.

    But the point is, I think there's a sort of balancing point between a film asserting something hyperbolically preposterous (Jabba as Daddy) and a film asserting something that is just a hard fit because Star Wars has a loooong history of doing things in films preceding later films that make it really hard to follow up films using the same themes.

    You could argue that they should "do something different", and sure - that's true, they could do something different than continue the saga by following the same themes, but regardless if they could, they didn't. They repeatedly have chosen in each trilogy to hammer the same exact themes so much that parallelism is entirely normalized across the fanbase at this point with people regularly showcasing their favorite parallels between trilogies.

    So, given that they wanted to make more films following the same themes, Star Wars almost inherently sets up the gun pointed against the creator from the start. No matter where you step, you are going to make something that causes something to come off awkward and strangely fitted.

    If you fix the pedantry of the prophecy, any number of other issues would pop up as a result of fixing that.
    I think it's a good thing that the Skywalker Saga is over because if there's one thing I think Star Wars soundly showed, it's that parallelism can only be stretched so far before it starts to severely start backfiring and shooting the creators in the foot.

    Which means when you end the trilogy of ROTJ to be an ending, and then you make another trilogy that pushes the meaning of ROTJ even higher by being a prequel, you almost inherently made it impossible to follow ROTJ with nearly anything that continues the same themes of the previous two trilogies without stepping on toes somewhere.

    So I don't think in such situations it's all that bad of a move to take the creator's opinions - especially when keeping in mind that even Lucas was intending to bring the Sith back in his rendition of the ST.

    Either we take the position that any version of the ST (since all included some reprisal of the Sith in some manner of presence) invalidated Anakin's entire prophetic fulfillment, or we just go with it and accept that it didn't because the prophecy wasn't meant to be so confining to the point of preventing further renderings of the same themes and principle narrative constructs as the previous two trilogies.

    I will have to get back to you on this, poke me if you don't hear from me in a while on this, but where that reading came from was years ago during the PT time period listening to Lucas in interviews. At some point he takes time to talk about the motifs of one's inherited implicit obligations we grow up with pressed upon us first by our parents and then later by society as we grow up and his interest in discussing that through narrative story telling.

    This was pretty central to him. At least, that's the way it came across watching him talk about it.

    The entire council is, from the get go, particularly careful with considering anything to do with him. It's a principle environment of tension in the trilogy.
    I've got to get to a meeting, but I'll try to circle back with some examples.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
    #263 Jayson, Sep 22, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
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  4. The Birdwatcher

    The Birdwatcher Rebel General

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    I absolutely agree. I also recognize that, while I have no particular affection for it, it may very well be someone else’s undisputedly favorite thing. And if they feel that element, which is key to their enjoyment (for whatever reason), has been diminished or negated in some way, I don’t see why having that perspective and then sharing that perspective should be discouraged. I’d prefer folks be open to alternative points of view, but if they’re not and merely want to vent, well that’s fine too. They’re allowed.

    Fair point, but historically there was no prophecy until The Phantom Menace was around. So, Anakin or Vader was not as important as many seem to believe.

    He only fulfilled ‘part’ of the prophecy though. Which, from what I can discern, is the general grievance. Anakin was also supposed to have destroyed the Sith. The ending of ROTJ very much promotes this component as satisfied. The ending of TROS very much promotes it had not. That might not matter to either of us, but if it does matter to someone else, they’re not wrong. Those two ends don’t meet. Just because something doesn’t matter to you doesn’t mean it shouldn’t matter to anyone else. People get to decide that for themselves.

    Depends what a "Sith" is. I was reading the Making of Star Wars, and at an earlier point in the drafts, a "Sith" seemed to be "an agent of the Empire". The definition since then has changed radically.

    Sure. And if the movie had revealed that Ben’s dad was actually Jabba the Hutt all along, then THAT would be the reality of the film. That’s what it thinks happened. Well, OK, but that doesn’t mean a segment of the audience is unjustified in pointing out how that doesn’t totally track. It’s like draping a “Mission Accomplished” banner over an aircraft carrier one year into a war that’s still being fought almost two decades later. You can say whatever you like. If it doesn’t jive with what’s observable though, then it’s incongruent.

    There's plenty that's incongruent in Star Wars. All the time, to be fair. Look, in a series where Leia is retconned from a love interest to a sibling of Luke's, the flaws of the sequel trilogy with keeping up with OT and prequel content are looking pretty good.

    If anything, the sequels have definitely improved my perspective on the prophetic element. I used to think it was merely superfluous. Now I think it’s outright hilarious. So this long foretold vision of the future, passed down for centuries, from generation to generation, about this destined ‘chosen one’, this preordained savior of the universe, was that he’d set the scales of the Force right again . . . for about twenty-ish or so years? Hell, The Simpsons have been on TV for longer than Anakin’s oh so crucial balancing of the Force held up :D That’s some straight comedy. The saddest of trombones. I love it!

    The absurdity of the prequels and easily done retcons in Star Wars. Even the Jedi in The Phantom Menace wear Tatooine robes... why? Because the production crew thought that they should reference Obi-wan's robes for the Prequel Trilogy. I believe, anyway.

    Again, that’s a perfectly valid interpretation. Here’s another:

    “You don't need guidance, Anakin. In time, you will learn to trust your feelings. Then you will be invincible. I have said it many times: You are the most gifted Jedi I have ever met...I see you becoming the greatest of all the Jedi, Anakin, even more powerful than Master Yoda.” This scene is immediately followed by the one where Obi-Wan says “His abilities have made him, well, arrogant.” Linking the two scenes causally.

    We don’t have to dig very deep to decipher the cryptic clues behind the impulse of Anakin’s inflated ego and exaggerated sense of self. George fashioned them into an Ian McDiarmid shaped boxing glove and punched us in the face with it. A straight line can be drawn between that exchange and “I will be the most powerful Jedi ever!” It’s right there on the screen. Another straight line can then be drawn from that moment back to Palps in the opera house scene. Palpatine wants Anakin to want more than what the Jedi can offer him. That’s the ploy.

    The reminder of the day- Vader was "seduced by the dark side" in ANH. He was NOT "seduced by the Emperor", the "Emperor's abilities", or the "Emperor's description of power, etc.".

    Now is ANH's description not canon? Yes, I don't think that it is, and it hasn't for a very long time, to be honest. It feels like a creeping degradation of early Star Wars, which is what I'm concerned about. Not trying to preach, but this is what sticks to my skins like burrs- these retcons are hurting Star Wars not just from a historical perspective, which is enough to be disturbing, but from a natural storytelling perspective.
     
  5. Jayson

    Jayson Force Sensitive

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    For the record, as just a one-off side note...I'd say Star Wars holds up pretty well in regards to consistency for a soap opera. :p


    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  6. eeprom

    eeprom Force Sensitive

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    Totally. My imaginary scenario was intended to be ridiculous. In that, we can all agree that if the movie had advanced something like that, it wouldn’t be unrelatable to reject the reality it was proposing. So just because a movie tells us its truth, we don’t have to accept it if it crosses our personal line of verisimilitude. If for someone, their line is the perceived violation of that doofy prophecy, well so be it. They’d have more fun if they could just play along, but maybe that story element was really personal to them.

    I know, for myself, the exchange between Anakin and Luke at the end of ROTJ is profoundly significant to me. It’s more than just schlocky operatic melodrama to me. Because of when I came to it and what it meant when I did, it’s very special. If the sequels had notably recontextualized or undone it in some way, that’s where I would have pulled the eject lever. I’d be out. But that’s my line.
    I 100% agree. To progress the story on from ROTJ, and still incorporate what preceded, some concessions had to be accepted. Some facets, we thought had been resolved, maybe weren’t. Again, that’s just something people have to get over in order to play along. That’s the price of admission. Anakin and Luke didn’t save the universe. We thought they did, but they didn’t. Now it’s someone else’s turn. Now it’s their story. Maybe I’m just royally bankrupt in the department of creativity, but I’m not sure how else a sequel story could have been told and still be relevant without demoting the import of what came before.
    Oh I’m definitely not debating that. In a lot of ways all the trilogies operate as forthright coming-of-age stories (by design). Struggling to define your own identity in opposition to what expectations are thrust on you by your sources of authority, is a common staple of the kind. It’s something we all can relate to depending on where we are in that maturation.

    That’s certainly a telegraphed factor for Anakin. No argument here. That’s not what I’m saying. I just don’t perceive it being applied in specific terms of the ‘chosen one’ persona. That there’s a passive-aggressive prejudicial air toward Anakin from the other Jedi because of it that results in added strife. I’d be very interested to hear your way into that though.
    Different words for the same thing, in my opinion. Anakin fell because of his desire to have power over death. A darkside power. A power the (soon to be) Emperor had promised him. Thus, he was seduced by the alure of what power the darkside could grant him. He was seduced by the darkside.
    Meh, if the story is better because of it, then retcon away, I say. “He told me you killed him.” “No. I am your father.” = retcon. And I’m perfectly happy with it.
     
    #266 eeprom, Sep 23, 2020
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  7. The Birdwatcher

    The Birdwatcher Rebel General

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    There are instances where I myself carry views which differ from the official meaning and narrative of a story. I will also accept that I differ from that official position, and recognize the official standing as the primary valid one.

    A good example of this within Star Wars is that I see A New Hope as a film about Han Solo; not Luke Skywalker. There's a bunch of reasons for this, but I also accept that by the official intended meaning, my interpretation is not true to the reality of the Star Wars film's narrative reality.

    Which, I'm somewhat overlapping with the next part of your discourse already, so instead I'm going to use that part to point something else out...

    Which, quite literally, happened in the OT.
    Before there was ever a question about whether TROS nullified ROTJ, there was another similar question.
    Did ESB nullify ANH?


    If we take ANH literally, and ignore the creator's intentions, then ... from a literal reading of the films, yes. Yes it did.
    The opening crawl of ANH is:


    It is a period of civil war. Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire. During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet. Pursued by the Empire’s sinister agents, Princess Leia races home aboard her starship, custodian of the stolen plans that can save her people and restore freedom to the galaxy….
    "Custodian of the stolen plans that can save her people and restore freedom to the galaxy"

    They did that. Plans received. Tactic employed. Death Star destroyed. Freedom restored to the galaxy.

    But...no, not really.

    The point of the title: "The Empire Strikes Back" is "The Empire Strikes Back". Freedom was restored, technically by not having the giant thing in the galaxy be around so that there's not assumed fear of keeping systems in line, from Tarkin. However, the point was that the Empire doubled-down and compensated by bringing out the Dreadnaughts and Garrisons out, and the people of the galaxy were still afraid of the galaxy's power, as evidenced by Cloud City and Lando's reaction to the Empire, because of said displays of power. The Empire kept power through sheer savagery and doubling-down, despite the lack of fear from the absent Death Star. It's still plausible enough to work in this situation, I think, even if there are discrepancies between scripts.

    In addition, NO ONE actually even knew about the Death Star, or at least in a widespread sense- it was "secret plans" that the rebels got a hold of, not- "plans to killer ball". So, how could the galaxy even know that they would need to be freed from the tyranny of a planet-killing space ball?
    B) The opening crawl speaks from the knowledge and perspective of the Rebels and the Rebels were wrong to assume that the Death Star's destruction would restore freedom to the galaxy.

    The destruction of the ball was a means of preventing fear to keep the systems in line. The Empire utilized other means- not so implausible. Also, the rest of the galaxy didn't know about the Death Star, so how could they be afraid of a Boogeyman ball thing.​

    C) The wording on the crawl is a mess, and Lucas intended to convey that they would only restore freedom temporarily but that evil would be back shortly.

    I still think it's alternative means- that the Empire found, and simple retaliation or escalation, if we want to go Nolan-esque.

    D) The film has a retconned mess on its hands because it attempted to provide a conclusive ending to itself, but then kept going after having already concluding the plot that was set up to be resolved in ANH.

    Fair point. But there were other things- Luke becoming a Jedi, Luke being promoted to having input with the rebels- Han being respected in the rebels, the Luke and Leia and Han and Leia romances/ love triangle, the new "I am your father angle", it greatly expanded on and tried to wrap up some loose points from ANH- loose as they were, I felt worked rather well.

    What we can't say, however, is that because ESB said the Empire was back, that regardless - it wasn't.
    The only way to do that is to simply deny the rest of the series, more or less, from ESB on and stop at ANH.

    It's The Empire Strikes Back, not just The Empire Comes Back or Star Wars: The Revenge. The big Empire's been hurt and wants to maintain their hold on the galaxy, so they retaliate. There is a point why Vader survives at the end of ANH, so that he can come back in sequels, which this film was completely satisfying towards.

    Which is why I can use it as an example - because no one cares, so there's nearly no one who holds the view that ESB invalidated ANH ... now.


    I did, (lol).


    I’m able to accept TESB because the retcons actually improve the plot, for the most part (C-3PO being a bit more cowardly- “wanting to surrender to the Empire is a little more questionable”, however).


    Other changes, as well. Vader being Luke’s father is a massive one, but the script and film holds up, as both Yoda and Obi-wan are shady, particularly Yoda.



    But the point is, I think there's a sort of balancing point between a film asserting something hyperbolically preposterous (Jabba as Daddy) and a film asserting something that is just a hard fit because Star Wars has a loooong history of doing things in films preceding later films that make it really hard to follow up films using the same themes.

    You could argue that they should "do something different", and sure - that's true, they could do something different than continue the saga by following the same themes, but regardless if they could, they didn't. They repeatedly have chosen in each trilogy to hammer the same exact themes so much that parallelism is entirely normalized across the fanbase at this point with people regularly showcasing their favorite parallels between trilogies.


    Which is unsettling as can be. Perfect description of the dilemma that Star Wars is presently in at the moment.


    Some themes are repeated in TESB, to be fair (Rebels fighting a bigger force), but there are new ones- a stronger sense of temptation with Vader’s offer (without Luke rejecting the call to adventure), Conflict with making difficult decisions (Luke choosing to save his friends despite opposition from his mentors) because he feels loyal to his friends (and presumably loves them and doesn’t want them to get tortured).

    So, given that they wanted to make more films following the same themes, Star Wars almost inherently sets up the gun pointed against the creator from the start. No matter where you step, you are going to make something that causes something to come off awkward and strangely fitted.


    Unless- Unless you finish what you started, which Return of the Jedi in some areas never did. Rushing through Luke’s hero arc in Jedi and setting up a useless and repetitive temptation (Luke already refused the dark side/joining Vader in TESB, why would he say yes in Return? Because all of his friends were going to die anyway? The point is saying no, though, which permits others to have the opportunity to take a stand, which is what Luke did in Empire. He had no idea if his friends were completely captured or killed, as far as I know, until he reached out with the Force and sensed Leia.) with Luke wanting power from getting an adrenaline boost and kicking/overwhelming Vader is sort of stupid and doesn’t really show the temptation of the dark side, honestly. I was hoping for a more creative use/visualization of the dark side than a boost in speed from a right-to-left panning shot and baseball-batting techniques from Luke.


    It's Vader (saves Luke), Lando (blows up the Death Star II and helps the rebels realize the trap), and (Han’s hotwiring skills), (plus luck, since the troopers could have shot Han and Leia) who save the day in Jedi. Luke sort of does- by distracting the Emperor, I guess, though the Emperor was stupid about dismissing his guards. But Luke doesn’t really act like the hero much, besides saving the company from a Teddy Bear Roast, using his brain to distract and kill Imperial Troopers on the speeders in the forest, distracting the Emperor, and saving Han through his multi-layered plan (which wasn’t all that feasible and the point was the kill everyone of Jabba’s goons and knock them into the pit). He’s this stoic piece of a man who’s thrown into this story, which is baffling. If anything, Luke could have shined by being more engaged with the rebels, but he barely was, as Vader was a greater priority.


    Fans complain about Luke not being in his X-Wing in the Last Jedi, that’s because Luke DID NOTHING with his X-Wing with the rebels in ROTJ. Or, even helped out with the rebels in a notable way. Granted, I think that Luke DID help out the Resistance (Rebels) (finally!) in The Last Jedi. But- it was a distraction! Luke did this in ROTJ! Also, a repetition of Obi-Wan helping out Luke, but Obi-wan tried to help out/ directly encourage and warn Luke after his death in ANH. Luke did help out Rey in TROS, but he didn’t really help/save the rebels directly, besides helping to defeat the Emperor.


    Fans are frustrated because of the lack of Luke ACTUALLY resolving an arc or characterization in the prior OT. They may not voice it or even realize it, but this is a potential reason of frustration, besides being used to super-uber powerful Luke from the EU, apparently.

    If you fix the pedantry of the prophecy, any number of other issues would pop up as a result of fixing that.


    Without the prophecy, there’s less burden on Star Wars, since there was no mention of a prophecy in the OT.


    I think it's a good thing that the Skywalker Saga is over because if there's one thing I think Star Wars soundly showed, it's that parallelism can only be stretched so far before it starts to severely start backfiring and shooting the creators in the foot.


    Paralellism? Or mounting amount of retcons with lack of quality? (Leia being a love interest to a sister) Avoidance of character arcs or a weakening of compelling character traits (TESB Luke to ROTJ Luke)?

    Which means when you end the trilogy of ROTJ to be an ending


    In many ways it was a poor ending, but few will admit that. (I feel that TESB was a better ending even though it was a cliffhanger-“Father! Son. Come with me. Ben… why didn’t you tell me.”).


    TFA’s anti-ROTJ-ish- ness with Kylo not coming back to the light side (even though it was a parallel to Vader killing Obi-Wan in ANH) is the first sign of Star Wars admitting a strong sense of responsibility for its characters, which is more akin to TESB Vader and Luke, etc., than for somewhat cheap redemptions (ROTJ Vader) through lack of explanation (Luke’s Anakin’s the name of your true self and you’re still conflicted) and avoidance of responsibility (giving a reason for Vader not staying on the dark side, i.e. wanting to rule or destroying the conflict of the rebels, which is really only discussed in the first rough draft summary of Revenge of the Jedi, with Vader wanting Luke to kill him to inherit half of the galaxy, which Luke rejects in a honorable manner by stating that Vader is still good, which is why Luke won’t kill him, not necessarily because Vader has a chance to turn to the light side, which leads to more reluctance from Vader to kill Luke).


    Unfortunately, while TLJ went full-throttle with this (Hallelujah!), TROS only addressed part of this, banking on Kylo’s “I didn’t know what I was doing”, “my family still forgives and loves me”, and “I do love my family”, which does work, but runs into ROTJ Vader’s problem by not addressing Kylo’s ambition for control and the sheer corruption of ruling the entire galaxy and starting over. Also, does not address Kylo’s disdain for the lack of control- the Resistance, in this case, which makes it confusing.


    , and then you make another trilogy that pushes the meaning of ROTJ even higher by being a prequel,


    Which is disastrous, if ROTJ is assumed to actually be the main point in Star Wars’ history where characters were noticeably watered down, a heightened increase of retcons, and illogic started to reign supreme.


    you almost inherently made it impossible to follow ROTJ with nearly anything that continues the same themes of the previous two trilogies without stepping on toes somewhere.


    The two trilogies’ themes were at odds with each other as well, despite some ideas (the Republic falling) were part of the OT and the original Star Wars.
     
    #267 The Birdwatcher, Sep 23, 2020
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  8. TK-1204

    TK-1204 Imperial Special Forces
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    Nail on the head right here. Especially once the prophecy aspect was introduced with the prequel films, this was always a problem for any story set after RotJ. In fact it's not even unique to the new films, as the old EU got dealt the same hand once the prophecy concept was established. In spite of that prophecy, new Dark Jedi/Sith emerged, Palpatine clones popped up, and the Empire literally never died.

    This isn't a critique of the old continuity or a "but they did it too" argument in favor of the ST. Rather it's a statement that, as you and others have pointed out, no matter how you slice it writers were going to have to make concessions or retcons in order to make it work. Rather than it being THE prophecy, it becomes one act of a constant balancing act. And for what it's worth, I think anyone who has tried to tackle the gargantuan task of navigating those waters and create sequel stories to the end of one of the most iconic film trilogies ever created did the best that they could at the time.

    Whether or not one likes the end results of it is down to one's personal taste.
     
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  9. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rebel Official

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    With Star Wars - or any IP, really - there are things that can be narratively parsed and debated, and things that are spelled out in black-and-white, and Anakin's role as the prophesied Chosen One is one of those things that was spelled out black-and-white.
     
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  10. Jayson

    Jayson Force Sensitive

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    You know, I never did. I never really thought about it until you just said this, but I actually never assumed everything was just locked.
    When I was a kid, part of my frustrations with Star Wars was that Luke only just reached Zorro status right when the series ended, and I wasn't going to watch him go off and fight the good fight as a knight and vanquish evil on further adventures.

    It never dawned on me that there wasn't an evil to vanquish, and as I've aged, your comment has made me realize...I never stopped holding that campy serial perspective.

    You know...the way that I take anything that Star Wars says in dialogue or in its crawls is just about how I take anything said in my old daily serials on my old black and white TV. That is - they were convenient for the episode, and that's about as far as they're worth thinking about.
    The motifs, thematic meanings, etc... all the artistic symbolism - yeah, those say a lot that's not temporal and frivolously ad-hoc. Zorro's shining silver sword against his dark outfit always stands for the light of justice prevailing in darkness, but all the banter during the episode is just an excuse to move along and create those painted moments where a couple token lines get whipped out and the archetypes of good and evil square off.

    And that's about how I read Star Wars. So I suppose I take the dialogue a lot less seriously than others and instead look more at the symbolism of the imagery and what it says thematically.

    Well, no. You don't have to accept anything in this world, really.
    But I think if a person wants to have a discussion with others on a confusing point in a film, I don't know...just seems a bit solipsist and I suppose a bit pointless ( ? I really don't mean that in a mean way...I don't know how else to put that...I'll try to explain) to not have some basic threshold.

    I mean...if there's isn't an absolute point of comparison to something in a discussion of art, then aside from pushing each other to grow as art appreciators, what is exactly the point of talking about a debatable point - especially from a point of view of great dislike or coupled with a position that it ruined something?

    Again, really not trying to be rude to anyone. It just seems to me that the point of discussing anything that is debatable, or unknown, - if not for the purpose of exercising artistic appreciation interpretation - is to discern it to the point of being known, which presumes there is some expected absolute position at some layer.

    I don't think that means someone has to agree with the official film and creator position - a person can accept it as the official position and think it sucks.
    That's about how I work with "Han shot second". I don't like that view, and I prefer the idea he shot first, but I also accept that this is no longer the perspective of the film and its creator. While I disagree, it is none the less, the reality of the series.

    Likewise, it is the reality of the series that Anakin did fulfill the prophecy.
    Now, whether that's bulls*** or not - entirely up to everyone to make that call. But I don't really think it's up in the air, to be honest, as to whether he did as far as the film series is concerned.

    Debatable between fans on whether they agree? Absolutely. But there has to be some reasonable level of base reality to work from for what happens in a film.
    What it means is up for grabs, but what happened seems a bit reasonable to take the films and their creators at their word for it.
    Even if that means there are giant plot holes (there aren't on this, but even if it did), then so be it.

    OK, well, then I won't go looking for whatever that interview is since we're on the same page on that part.

    I'd be curious where you see it existing if you see it existing, but don't see it existing here.

    If Anakin doesn't have a beef with the council, and the council isn't focused on Anakin and putting him under the watchful eye with Yoda just kind of expecting him to screw up, and Obi-Wan expecting him to save the universe, then where does the theme of 'inherited obligations which press upon you in ways that define you by how you cope with them' present itself?

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
    #270 Jayson, Sep 23, 2020
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  11. eeprom

    eeprom Force Sensitive

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    And that makes perfect sense. I completely get where you’re coming from there. When I was a kid (and I assume others experienced it the same way), I didn’t question the apparent finality of ROTJ. The Emperor figure had been promoted to this position of supreme evil. He was now the one behind all the ill that had befallen everyone to this point. Defeating him is tantamount to defeating both the Empire and the darkside.

    That isn’t at all practical or logically of course. A galactic sized empire wouldn’t just crumble because its leader was assassinated, but this is fairytale reasoning we’re working by. Dorothy had just thrown water on the Wicked Witch and, well, that’s the end of her and her evil reign, right? Now our heroes can go off and live happily ever after - the end. The Rebels will build a new government. Leia will probably lead it. Luke will pass on what he learned. Han will do whatever the hell it is he feels like. And that’s that.

    I was somewhat curious what other adventures they might all have gotten up to afterward, but the central conflict had been resolved. Probably not much more than housecleaning after that. No thanks.
    I feel most people engage as audience members from a place of emotionality. They experience a thing and they react instinctively. It makes them feel the way they feel. If they want to participate in interactive discourse though, it requires they translate those feelings into articulate reasoning. And that’s not an easy task for a lot of folks. They like or dislike a thing, but haven’t the toolset to properly express exactly why that might be. Divorcing their emotions from their reasoning behind that reaction isn’t something they’re experienced in doing.

    The PT pushed an overline veneer of greater (and unnecessary, IMO) import to the conclusiveness of the OT, portraying Anakin as this pseudo-messianic figure. The ST, by simply existing, diminishes that import for a lot of people. It’s trying to say, through lampshading, that what Anakin achieved still matters - that it hadn’t been reduced. But, from their perspective, it definitely had, since he’s no longer this vaunted savior figure they understood him to be.

    That reaction comes from a place of emotion. They have a preexisting personal attachment to what they consider to be the ‘correct’ read. Deviating from that, however well its rationalized, will be perceived as a betrayal. It’s difficult, at that point, to get over that type of association and assess a work on its own merits independent of that association. So, while I can’t directly relate, I’m sympathetic to the place its coming from. Or, rather, where I think it’s coming from.
    OBI-WAN: The boy is dangerous. They all sense it. Why can't you?

    YODA: The chosen one the boy may be. Nevertheless, grave danger I fear in his training.

    It’s established that the Jedi are leery of Anakin right from the jump. So, it’s perfectly reasonable to deduce that this type of precept follows into a bias that manifests in microaggressions or inconsistent treatment during is upbringing. However, there’s a demarcation there that assigns that attitude as being separate from the possible ‘chosen one’ status. Maybe he’s the child of prophecy. Maybe he’s not. Regardless, the kid freaks them out and that’s where this stems from. Not prophetic implications, but ‘bad vibes’.
    Where I previously mentioned. Obi-Wan, in his own way, is also dealing with the immense weight of the burden handed to him by his master. It was his mentor’s dying wish he take on this incredibly unconventional student. His master believed the fate of the entire universe depended on it. That’s an obscene amount of pressure to place on someone who, himself, was barely an adult.

    Whether intentional or not, that obligation was transferred onto Anakin. This supreme terror of failing, of landing short of expectations, was instilled into his student by proxy. That’s the principle ‘inherited obligation’ I see the character having to reconcile with. The unfair expectations placed on him by his teacher, who was in turn secretly dealing with the same exact burden and unable to say so.

    We can see the distinction in practice here:

    OBI-WAN: I am concerned for my Padawan. He is not ready to be given this assignment on his own yet.
    YODA: The council is confident in its decision, Obi-Wan.
    MACE: The boy has exceptional skills.

    In this exchange, the council is an active advocate for Anakin. They’re demonstrating support and trust. It’s Obi-Wan that’s voicing reservation and doubt. He doesn’t think Anakin has been properly prepared. That HE hasn’t properly prepared him. That’s what Anakin is trying to break free from and define for himself. “I'm ready for the trials, but he feels that I'm too unpredictable. He won't let me move on.” In AOTC, he’s not finding himself at odds with the Jedi in general, but his master specifically. And not with respect to the abstract ‘chosen one’ factor, but in the immediacy of paternal strife. Just as Owen wanted to shelter Luke to the point of stifling, Obi-Wan too is hindering his charge out of a misguided excess of caution.

    In ROTS, that shifts of course and the discord is materialized in direct opposition to the council. However, again, the impetus isn’t the abstract proposition of the ‘chosen one’, but rather his uneasy cronyism with Palpatine. “The fact of the matter is you are too close to the chancellor.” The council already doesn’t trust Palpatine. And, by extension, don’t entirely trust Anakin. They already had 'bad vibes' about this kid from the start and that problematic development only serves to reinforce their wariness.

    I definitely see how the prophetic element could play into that as an additional underlining pin, but I don’t feel that’s what’s being presented in the actual features. There’s already enough satisfactory pillars holding that theme up. It isn’t really necessary.

    Or not. What do I know? :)

    Man, I always start these expecting them to be short and to the point. I never seem to manage it though :oops:
     
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  12. Jayson

    Jayson Force Sensitive

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    Actually, the Empire didn't even factor into my thinking. I just, in a very Saturday Morning Cartoon He-Man sort of way, implicitly assumed even if it wasn't the Emperor, there was some other monstrous foe of evil. Not really the Empire or anything of that sort - just another Skelator in the closet.
    But now that I think about it...I can't be sure I ever really thought the Emperor was really dead.
    As a kid, especially one in a Christian house, the Emperor read very much as a Lucifer boogyman, and though you may strike down their mortal form, such villains are metaphysically supernatural - they just come back. I mean...at least...they did in a lot of things in my life at that time.
    So I think at the least I assumed there was another evil monster to save everyone from - otherwise, what's the point of being a knight in a fairy tale?
    But the more I really think about it, I don't think I really thought of Palpsy as dead. To me, the point of ROTJ wasn't really about whether Palpsy really died or not, but was more about Luke saving his Dad. Palpsy getting tossed off was more just getting him out of the way so Luke and Vader could have a Father and Son bonding moment reprisal of the previous moment on Endor.

    I'm not saying this is normal - lord knows for a ton of my life I was extremely naive and took a lot of things at face value, or didn't think about it much, while oddly overly thinking about other aspects.
    But yeah...anyway - I don't think it's really important to this conversation, but it was more an aside our discussion caused me to reflect on and realize. :)

    Of course.
    But we're also here to discuss in a way that is atypical to that context. I seriously doubt very many people in percent are spending their time discussing Star Wars at this level of nuanced discussion.

    So we're clearly well beyond that, and yes people react emotionally. But that's also why I think it is reasonable, in a discussion, to defer to a film and its creators for the reality of what happened when there's challenged discussion about what happened.

    What the value of what happened is...well, as you note. That's entirely a different matter. No creator (sorry Lucas) can tell their audience the value they should hold something at.

    Consequently, I fully agree that the ST entirely devalued the finality of the prophetic Anakin by nothing more than simply existing.
    Even if Lucas had brought the ST back himself, and even if he never mentioned Sith once, it would inherently devalue the weight of the prophetic Anakin.

    I don't, however, think that changes whether the fulfillment of the prophecy happened or not.
    It happened.

    Just as much as Han did shoot Greedo. Doesn't matter which version you look at, in both - Greedo is shot by Han.
    But in the reprisal of the scene, the original value of Han shooting Greedo is reduced.

    Star Wars has a long running history of retroactively changing the value of something already put in the can. This would be yet another...I guess?

    I don't know...personally, I never really truly grasped the idea in the first place.
    Splitting hairs over it being Sith or not seemed totally pedantic. So...we're saying God only really cares about the rise of Babylonians specifically, and doesn't really care about Hitler. Nope. God sent his only begotten son to fulfill the prophecy to bring balance to the world and stop King Nebuchadnezzar and the great evil of Babylon, and then the Nazi's came along and God said...
    [​IMG]

    I don't know...just seems easier to see it for what it was. Important because it sets off a galactic shaping event. Other than that - it's only just relevant to Anakin as it matters to him.

    They're behaving this way and conflicted over Anakin, and putting all this extra time focusing on Anakin because...

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
    #272 Jayson, Sep 23, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
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  13. eeprom

    eeprom Force Sensitive

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    To slay the dragon.
    Full disclosure: I’m the son of an addict. I spent a pretty big portion of the early part of my life, my sister and I, in literal fear of my father. Not certain whether his violent outbursts, fueled by his drug of choice, would become physical or simply emotionally abusive. That’s around the time I found Star Wars. The Emperor, to me, was never a person. He was the embodiment of Vader’s darkness. He was his drug. The thing that held dominion over him. The thing he felt powerless to resist. The thing that compelled him to hurt the ones he loved.

    To see a father overcome the depths of his anguish and self-loathing and anger, to recognize the pain it was causing his son - to see him fight it and f**king win, that meant something to me. It wasn’t “I’ll get you next time, Gadget.” He slayed the dragon.

    I know that isn’t realistic. I know you can’t just vanquish evil for all time and everyone’s happy forever. Just as you don’t simply ‘get over’ addiction. But, as a five year old, I wanted to believe it was possible. It gave me hope that things could be better.
    I think it’s relevant. Did the new movies ruin the ending of Return of the Jedi? That’s an individual question whose answer largely depends on how attached we each are to it and whether we can mentally separate the two. That starts by exploring what it meant to you and how you perceived it.
    Sure. It’s par for the course. Folks can either make their peace with it or not.
    I’m not sure I’m following your lead here. What “extra time” are they focusing on Anakin? They assigned him a mission in AOTC to protect Padme. That wasn’t because he was the chosen one, but because he had a preexisting relationship with her. They assigned him a mission in ROTS to spy on Palpatine. That wasn’t because he was the chosen one, but because he had a preexisting relationship with him. These are plot conveniences there to place our protagonist in the situations that allow for the story incidents to unfold. They’re motivated by character connections and narrative necessity.

    I imagine there are other Jedi out there on other missions and the council convenes on those as well offscreen. But that’s not the story, so we focus on Anakin and the broader implications of his actions.

    Am I totally misunderstanding what you’re saying?
     
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  14. Jayson

    Jayson Force Sensitive

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    I perhaps think so.

    In general terms, the Prequel Trilogy is about the rise of a prophesized savior who fails to become a savior, and instead becomes corrupted by evil.

    Yes?

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  15. Logray Ewok Medicine Man

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    This is a great question and it obviously has generated a lot of thoughtful commentary.

    As someone who is a huge fan of the Sequel Trilogy, I have to admit that it does somehow weaken the emotional impact of the climax of Return of the Jedi for me (though I wouldn't go so far as to say "ruined").

    Two me, the ending of Return of the Jedi and the entire OT boils down to two compelling outcomes:

    1. Luke Skywalker, when faced utter doom, mortal danger, and the destruction of his friends, chooses to toss away his lightsaber rather than strike at his father.
    2. Anakin Skywalker lives on in the Force because he was ultimate redeemed by his son, and is able to transcend the netherworld and appear to the living.

    TLJ shows us that Luke really hasn't overcome his instinct towards violence, and even if reflexively, he will still raise his sword to a loved one. It turns out he didn't fully make the pivotal change we are led to believe he did in ROTJ.

    The Sequel Trilogy also shows that Anakin can't appear to the living the way he did at the end of ROTJ. So much of the conflict in the Sequel Trilogy would have been averted if Force Ghost Anakin appeared to a young Ben or Kylo to tell him to stop worshipping the Vader mask. I get that he communicated to Rey at her most desperate hour, but if he could have reached the living, he should have done it with Ben long ago.

    I love the experience of the ST and am largely happy with it. Where I think it fails is on the cerebral level, along the lines of what I just described. I know there's a lot of technicalities, semantics and caveats that people offer, but I do get hung up on the two points I mentioned. Many people would say you shouldn't be looking for the cerebral in a Hollywood sci-fi blockbuster, but for folks like you and me, the fact that the OT worked on a cerebral level is one of the reasons we all love Star Wars.

    I still watch ROTJ and don't get hung up at the ending. It would have been great if the ST was a great trilogy to watch AND made the entire Skywalker Saga a fulfilling and satisfying experience on a cerebral level, but I can't have it all.
     
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  16. eeprom

    eeprom Force Sensitive

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    In general terms, I’d say the Prequel Trilogy is about a boy, a religious sect, and a government that all set out to do good, but allowed their worst impulses to guide them to ruin. The prophecy piece can be lifted out cleanly without missing a beat. It has no tangible bearing (IMO).
    Usually takes two to make a connection (unless you have a creepy wizard phone operator that does it for you). Could be Anakin was trying, but Ben wasn’t picking up. Or rather, couldn’t even tell the phone was ringing. Just a thought.
     
    #276 eeprom, Sep 23, 2020
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  17. Jayson

    Jayson Force Sensitive

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    OK, then there's the root of our problem.

    You're (I don't mean this antagonistically) ignoring that tangent as being relevant to this Star Wars trilogy.
    And yeah, if you just ignore it from being an integral part of the story, then of course it has no bearing on anything.

    Then all you really have to do is ignore Qui Gon bothering to take note of Anakin, and Obi-Wan yell about the prophecy at the end (I think "Bookend" was how you described it?), and otherwise go about your day like nothing about it matters. Yes. I will agree with you. If you ignore the prophecy existing, then it doesn't matter to the film.

    I don't understand the reason for ignoring it, however.

    Ambient contexts don't need to be voiced to have relevancy in film. No one has to say anything about the prophecy as a character growth point for it to be a motivating factor upon the one who is seen by the films as the one whom the prophecy is about.

    I don't really know how to answer to the reading of the prequel trilogy as a story that's not about a boy who is believed to be a prophesized savior, and his failure to become that and instead becomes evil.
    Nor do I really know how to answer the reading which thinks that everything that everyone does regarding Anakin isn't because he's special and unique in the eyes of the film, and that he is the focus upon which everything centers around - beginning with the recognition of his uniqueness and prophetic fitting.

    I mean...the value of Anakin going dark is only really worth anything because he starts out as a holy iconic archetype. "I wanted to destroy something beautiful." (Fight Club).

    If he's just a kid, then the whole entire poetics of going evil are just...well...meh. Who cares man. People go evil. So what? It's not hard to do. The distance from "regular joe" to "evil a**hole" is not that big of a distance.
    The distance from "Jesus" to "Lucifer" ... that's a big distance - pretty much the biggest range possible.
    Take that prophecy out, ignore it, and you pretty much just belittle the entire trilogy. It still works as a film about a kid who hates sand and gets really mad about crap for no real good reason and just jumps right in to burny-burny cut-cut as a solution a lot, but the whole allegorical weight and meaning is knocked out from under it when you do that. Like taking the Statue of Liberty off of Staten island.

    Yeah, still pretty much the same thing, but now it says far less.


    I really mean the following earnestly - with no dig at all.

    Do you watch poetic cinema, like Hitchcock, and pick up on the ontological vexations pressing upon many of the protagonists without anyone outright saying it, or directly putting it into the effect, but instead only being established as present in context and left to operate as a psychological motivator for the character environment of the story?

    Like...what's another good example...Have you seen Captain Blood?
    Do you pick up that social obligation needing to be personal instead of governed is a motivating controller of Captain Blood's narrative even though no one anywhere ever says that in the film, and it's never brought in as a direct object of inquiry by anyone?

    (It's harder for me to think of newer films in this way because quite a number don't really bother with subtextual or ambient contexts anymore - it's mostly a Scorsese/Lucas/Coppola on back commonality and something modern film mostly just doesn't bother with ...*eyeballs Marvel series*)

    Cheers,
    Jayson
    --- Double Post Merged, Sep 23, 2020, Original Post Date: Sep 23, 2020 ---
    Actually, @eeprom

    Lucas himself provides the best example for this very conversation.
    This is only about 3 minutes long.

    My question is: Do you see that the ambient context of the protagonist is society's crushing expectations, and that this ambient context drives the narrative of the film?



    Also just realized I've never followed you yet. Fixed that! :)

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
    #277 Jayson, Sep 23, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
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  18. eeprom

    eeprom Force Sensitive

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    The value in him going dark is in contrast to how we meet him: a well intending little boy who simply wanted to do good with the power he had. “I had a dream I was a Jedi. I came back here and freed all the slaves.” Maybe that needs to have a touch of the divine in it to resonate with you for some reason. But I don’t. An innocence lost is intrinsically compelling to me as is. I’m already sold. I care about people. I don’t care about scripture.
    Wow, man. Just . . . wow.
    What in the world are you talking about?

    Take out the prophecy and what you have is a kid, dependent on his attachment to his mother, raised in a religion that demonizes attachment. A kid, made to feel wrong for simply having feelings, looking for validation in whoever will provide it, including those who would take advantage of him. What you have is someone locked in a cage of emotions, trying to break free without breaking the rules and being torn apart by it. What you have is someone dealing with the trauma of loss, trying to compensate with a relationship and finding even more torment and now dangerous possession. What you have is someone so deeply resentful and unfulfilled toward the sect that raised him, that he’s willing to betray everything they stand for. What you have is someone so desperate to preserve his attachments and fragile sense of value, that he’s prepared to kill to protect them. What you have is so someone so thoroughly consumed by his selfish and unrequited desires, that he’ll sacrifice what he loves, leaving him with absolutely nothing but hate and pain and despair.

    What you have is a full and satisfying character journey from the sanctity of innocence to the depths of damnation - all without the aid of pointless scripture.

    Take out the prophecy and what you have is a religious order that stands as the guardian of peace and justice, that slowly compromises its ethics and purpose in order to maintain the order in an increasingly chaotic landscape. What you have is an order that’s all too willing to play its part as fearless protectors while unwittingly enabling the means of its own downfall. What you have is an order so completely convinced of its certain benevolence and superiority, that it never stops to question whether it might be ultimately causing more harm than good and effectively empowering the reign of a tyrant.

    What you have is the incremental devolvement of an institution of faith from the peak of influence to the abyss of extinction - all without the aid of pointless scripture.

    Take out the prophecy and what you have is a representational government, built on liberty and freedom, so mired in endless diplomatic dead ends and navel gazing, that it had become ineffectual and impotent. A government so rudderless and self-sabotaging and crooked, that it welcomed a leader who would dictate policies and treat its representatives like children. A government so threatened by the prospect of secession and its destabilization, that it gladly gave its leader unprecedented power over its very laws. A government so fearful of losing a war and their safety, that it eagerly traded away its liberties and self-determination bit and by bit, until they were gone completely and found themselves the subjects of a dictatorship.

    What you have is the steady decline of a democracy from the heights of egalitarian ideals to the wallowing wastes of tyranny - all without the aid of pointless scripture.

    These stories are about humanity. They’re about morality. They’re about society. Not a single stitch of it breaks without the prophecy. Not a one. It’s all right there. I’m sorry you don’t see that.
    Following back :)
     
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  19. Jayson

    Jayson Force Sensitive

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    I think we're at the end point of this discussion (as always, it's been a good one).

    Of course I see all of that. Of course I do.

    That's all axiomatic.
    The thing to me is it seems like allegorical metaphor is not something you pick out.
    To you it seems the prophecy is about as useful as what color socks Anakin wears.

    It doesn't really matter what the terms of the prophecy are, but it does surprise me that you don't recognize the symbolic value it has on the story and the context it creates by its existence.

    I don't see a way to show you what you asked me to. You asked me to show you how the prophecy pushes a weight of obligation and expectancy upon Anakin.

    I can't show you that if you deny the prophecy any weight of value upon the story.

    You said that you could pluck out the prophecy and it wouldn't matter.

    I'll close with a rhetorical question.
    You and I both know Lucas is a very esoteric storyteller who rarely puts in an archetypal concept without it having a specific purpose in mind that matters to what the story conveys, and has meaning to him for being included in the story.
    We also know the man almost never stops talking in metaphor and symbolism when he talks about Star Wars.

    Why did Lucas even bother to make Anakin a prophesied chosen one?

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
    #279 Jayson, Sep 24, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2020
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  20. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rebel Official

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    This is where you're fundamentally incorrect

    The question at the heart of this thread isn't a philosophical debate where people can have differing points of view; it's a black-and-white 'issue' with a definitive and unequivocal answer.

    Some people clearly disagree with that answer, but disagreeing with it doesn't negate the fact that it exists.
     
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