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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. eeprom

    eeprom Force Sensitive

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    My take? It was a bid by George to elevate the stakes of his conclusion from merely operatic to transcendentally mythological. To exalt Anakin’s self-sacrifice as a flawed man to that of an ethereal conduit of the Force itself. To broaden his import to the height of fulfilling the very will of that omnipresent energy.

    His triumph then isn’t in just saving one person, it’s saving all people by ‘restoring the balance’. It’s now the act he was literally born to do and not something that materialized by happenstance. It’s a destiny manifested. A providence delivered . . . hooray.
    Well, I'm glad that's all cleared up. I guess we can lock this thread now.
     
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  2. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Force Sensitive

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    To me, I think the ending of the ST ruined the ending of TROS, but not before. There are a couple of different reasons, but I think that the main ones for this topic are: the ending and the prophecy.

    The ending of TROS leaves everything back where it once was. Despite the journeys taken, the overall landscape of the universe feels the same after TROS. Like ROTJ, there's only one Jedi left. Like ROTJ, another empire has fallen. Like ROTJ, the Republic will most likely build itself up. The problem then becomes that due to the thirty years in-between, things retroactively feel worse. Luke's goal to rebuild the Jedi? It blew up in his face and thirty years later we're back to square one. The Republic that Leia worked her entire life to build? Destroyed, along with the death of her husband, son, brother, friends, and herself. TROS is supposed to be this "happy ending," but when you break it down, it's more pyrrhic than anything else.

    This isn't to say that TROS was wrong to "end where it all began." Not at all! Many movies, shows, and book series do this. The theme of cycles is present in some of them as well, like Battlestar Galactica, The Wheel of Time, and Avatar: The Last Airbender. Catharsis through revising the past or becoming what you never reconciled with are real things and really good storytelling techniques...if done right.* The thing is, most of those made sure that beginning and ending were different enough to feel like a journey took place between them. TROS didn't do that adequately enough to differentiate the endings, and as a result one (or both) of the endings feels cheapened.

    Naruto and its sequel Boruto face some of the same problems. Naruto (who himself is a Chosen One) brings peace to the Ninja world by the end of his story - does the fact that there's violence in Boruto negate that? Yes and no. The problems Boruto has to face are different than the ones his father did, creating a different story - Boruto's facing the equivalent of an alien invasion while Naruto had to deal with politics and global wars. The main issue is that Boruto faces them the same way Naruto faced his problems (aka running in head first and surviving it through by sheer luck and others pulling him out of danger) making all of those differences null and void.

    Back to Star Wars, if Rey, Finn, and Poe repeat the mistakes that Luke, Han, and Leia make by rebuilding a system that doesn't work/didn't work in the same way as before, what really makes them different? What lesson is there from this story for our characters to learn? There's no evidence (yet) that Rey won't repeat the same mistakes that Luke made. Or that Finn and Poe won't try to rebuild the New (New) Republic the same way that Mon Mothma and Leia did. Overall this is an easily fixable issue, but until it's fixed it's a major problem.


    Next up is the Chosen One. Frankly, I don't mind the whole Chosen One thing, since I grew up with the PT and am a person of faith. @eeprom you made some excellent points about how the story could work without it though. And while I'd hate to see it go, I think that's the sign of a solid world/story right there and it was super cool hearing your perspective.

    Anyways, I'm in the category that feels as if TROS ruined Anakin's...meta-story let's say, by bringing back Palpatine. The Sith were dead and gone, but their legacy lived on in the pain the galaxy still feels. That was enough for me. To risk an analogy, slavery is one of the most heinous acts in the world, and the effects of slavery are still felt by black people globally via prejudice, systematic racism, socio-economic wealth gaps, and more. But a story doesn't need to bring back slavery or have the threat of slavery return to say any of that. No, I'm not saying "Palpatine's return is comparable to slavery" AT ALL. But I am saying that sometimes we don't need to have the Old Bad present to address the problems they created.

    Had Kylo been the Big Bad as a Knight of Ren, this wouldn't have been a problem. Had Rey's deal been that she was another Chosen One, this problem could have been avoided another way. And it's not like fans haven't seen stories like that before - the stories I mentioned with the cycles above explicitly dealt with this issue, so Star Wars doing the same wouldn't have been too insane. And yes, while Anakin says "you have to bring balance like I did," or whatnot in the movie, that's different than explicitly saying "you are the Chosen One."

    You know, that could have been an interesting story too. Rey discovers she's the new Chosen One and is stuck dealing with the ramifications of Anakin's actions as a Sith rather than the Sith themselves.
    Korra had to deal with some of Aang's past problems (although not as many) just like how Aang had to deal with some of the problems Roku left for him. Rand al'Thor had a TON of problems because of what his immediate predecessor Lews Therin Telamon left behind.
    ...I think I'll save that for a story of my own someday...

    Overall, was there a way to build the ST so that it didn't feel like ruined the ending of ROTJ? Yes, but I'm not sure it would have felt like Star Wars if it did, because it would require changing all three movies.


    As an aside, @Jayson I didn't forget our previous conversation on the Rey thread, but since it's been a week and I still really don't have much time on my hands, I decided not to respond and to leave it be. I hope you're feeling better from your surgery!

    *Avengers: Endgame did this very well with the storylines of Thor, Tony, Steve, and Gamora.
     
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  3. Jayson

    Jayson Force Sensitive

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    Always when I think it seems like the conversation is done, lol. Da** you @eeprom !
    I know we've both said it before, but da** man - I really do enjoy our conversations...they're really part of the top tier of my experiences here. I feel a sort of Buckley/Vidal about it. :)

    Anyway...
    And the rhetorical figure mythological narrative devices are characterized by is metaphor, and metaphor is denoted by not being literally applicable to that which it represents.


    And this is all true, but none of the characters in the story are influenced by it?


    A further thought...

    Transcendentally mythological...destiny manifest...

    A story representing the fundamental truths of society (by applying a rhetorical device which is not literally applicable to what it represents) which evidentiates a corporally invisible predetermined course of events of irresistible agency.

    You're proposing this all exists superficially and bears no weight upon the characters in the story, and only functions as a conceptualization of category alone. That the story uses the prophecy to belong to a specific narrative category, but that the story is absent of employing the properties of that narrative category.

    How does the prophecy allow the prequel to be classed as a transcendentally mythological story containing the trappings of the destined manifestation of the hero saving all people by ‘restoring the balance’, and yet is not a story about the rise of a prophesied savior?

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
    #283 Jayson, Sep 24, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2020
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  4. Meister Yoda

    Meister Yoda Your Little Green Friend
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    Well I'm late and won't probably bring anything new to the show, but some things just spoke to me and I have to place my thoughts somewhere...

    I think that's it. Is it important if the prophecy was fulfilled? I don't think so. That doesn't stop Anakin from being the chosen one.
    How do prophecies work in Star Wars anyway. Is a prophecy still a prophecy if it's not fulfilled. Always in motion the future is.
    Did Qui Gon mess it up because he pursued to make Anakin fulfil it.
    If the chosen one messes up but returns to his ways, is it really expected that he can fulfil the prophecy completely? Did the prophet now that he falls to the dark, and is that part of his supposed way...
    Important for me was that Vader turned against his master and took him out (for now). But I actually played in my "headcanon" with the possibility that he survived. We see him fall and than we see some light. Dang he could have opened a wormhole with his unnatural force abilities and crashed hard to the ground on exegol where he was sewed together by some semi-professional sith tailor...

    I like the way to see it that way.

    I had some more and better thoughts about that, but they all vanished as soon as I tried to write them down...
    That's actually the reason why I don't post to threads that often. All good ideas suddenly disappear if I try to articulate them.
     
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  5. Jayson

    Jayson Force Sensitive

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    That's kind of the point of the ST, though.

    And I get that it's a bummer for folks who wanted something that pushed the universe further.

    But if you go listen to all the interviews of the creators, one concept pops up repeatedly: the idea that evil isn't ever gone, the fight never over, and that a new generation always has to pick up and fight the same fight that their predecessors did.

    The ST is metaphorically, literally, and narratively a reprisal.

    We have the same tropes, the same allegories, the same moral character arcs, the same role of each film to the trilogy, the same naive country bumpkin rising hero with a shocking heritage of evil, the same destined for greatness glory boy who falls to evil and then finds redemption through their connection to the naive country bumpkin, the same neutral guy who backstabs you, the same convert to the cause, same stubborn headed leader who needs to be rescued (although...I feel like Poe got off easy because he never had to become a useless bikini hanger in the third act), etc... etc...

    The ST took the idea of "rhyming" and turned it into sampling, and then made the whole story about always having to do the same thing.

    The ST is, in one aspect, the Star Wars Groundhog Day.

    It's a theatrical museum of the previous 6 films, and from everyone's interviews, I'd say that was entirely the point.

    What changed were nuances.
    Telling the PT and the OT themes at the same time. That creates new narrative interplays between the archetypes.

    Telling a Star Wars epic using Character-Driven narratives. That's new. That creates a more volatile and anxious narrative.

    Using subjective camera blocking as the default. That's new. Star Wars has always been observational documentarian in philosophy, and the shift to subjectivist narrative philosophy entirely shifted the feel, pace, and relationship between the audience and the story.
    That may seem like a small thing, but it's not. Lucas was very adamant about his way of shooting.

    Star Wars is extremely specific and very planned in production detail before getting on set now. That's new.
    This moves the stories more on the rails and rigidly than before.
    Lucas usually used three simultaneous cameras at a minimum and pushed it up to ... I think 12 was the most I recall, although ROTJ had a shoot that comprised of both first and second units at the same time going for a free for all where basically anyone with a camera was just running around and shooting anything they thought was interesting with no direction to these extra cameras going on.
    What I'm saying is Lucas liked to go for the throw a truckload of noodles at the wall approach to shooting and choose the final feel and narrative of the story in the edit.

    The ST had scripts before starting production on each film, and stuck to them deterministically after carefully deciding what goes in using huge writing sessions and meetings. That's new.
    Lucas wrote scripts ahead of time for the most part, but didn't think of them as worth too much more than prompts, and would regularly run late on finishing scripts. He would further regularly show up on set and surprise everyone with new additions he tossed in over night or over the weekend (priceless watching Hayden reacting in stunned silence at Lucas just dropping that he expanded the final scenes with Obi and Anni the day they were shooting).
    This shift meant the actors had a better shot this time around at immersing into their characters and really spending time with their lines.

    But...
    As a narrative. The ST is openly a reprise.

    p.s.
    The Rey thread: yeah, we're cool.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
    #285 Jayson, Sep 24, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2020
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  6. eeprom

    eeprom Force Sensitive

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    Uh oh. Was . . . was I not supposed to reply to that? Wait, am I not supposed to reply to this? Oh dear. Oh, my stars and/or garters. Well, I’ll try to make this brief and bow out then :p
    In essence, yes. The prophecy, in my observation, is a conceptual layer of profundity laid on top of the story in order to impart a greater degree of grandeur to the completed saga. To imbue it with the tone and resonance of a religious epic. To capitalize on that form, but not actually be of that form. He’s cherry picking influences, as he often does, and reapplying them within his collage of inspirations.

    It’s something he was fiddling around with during his earlier drafts and the ‘Journal of the Whills’ construct: “And in the time of greatest despair there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as: THE SON OF THE SUNS.”

    At some point after that, I assume, he recognized that the story works perfectly fine without that element of fatalistic ‘so let it be written’ oracular drivel, and opted to abandon it in favor of a more approachable fantasy. The events to unfold then aren’t the product of some predeterminate divination, but the culminated legend of individuals acting upon personal motivations and archetypical moral quandaries. Perhaps in service to some broader underline cosmic calculous? Mmmmm, maybe ;) - but that isn’t really the focus.

    Evidently, while developing the prequels, he revisited that early idea again and felt it more applicable since Star Wars had secured the modern myth status he’d been aiming at originally. This is all complete speculation on my part of course. That’s how it looks to me from the outside at any rate.
    The same way Star Wars can be classed in the taxonomy of any number of other stringent predefined boxes, but doesn’t actually conform to any of them. Because it’s a mosaic of stimuli that borrows of other forms and repurposes as relevant to itself.

    To circle back, this was the sentiment we spun off from ↓
    The “inherited debt of obligation” and “nothing more”. This debt exists within the narrative for Anakin independently of the prophecy. That’s pretty well established and reinforced at this point. As I’ve iterated numerous times now: to then interpret the prophetic element as an intentionally sub-textual component driving characters as an unconscious motivator - is a totally…valid…read. I’m not shutting that down. It is neither unwarranted, nor implausible. If that’s how you engage with the story and perceive its significance, then that makes all the sense in the world. I endorse your take. It’s just not mine.

    To go it one further though and assert that the entirety of the story completely crumbles down without its inclusion, as if it’s the load bearing stone holding the whole thing up and all is meaningless in its absence, well I can’t go with you on that. It’s meaning, at least to me, resides in the fallible nature inherent to all of us.

    In ourselves and in the things that we build, be that relationships or religions or governments, our fears and pettiness can tear them all down if we let them. We should always strive to better ourselves and try to overcome the limitations we impose on what we’re capable of regardless of what damage we’ve endured. All of that still exists without the indeterminacy of whether or not someone is a ‘chosen one’.
    Same here. I love to interact with someone who has a distinctly different vantage point than me. I get to reassess, or completely redefine, exactly why I approach something the way I do. I enjoy challenging my preconceptions.

    Though I think I’ll be taking a break from this forum for a bit. I started this post by saying I’d be brief and that didn’t exactly happen. I really got to train my energy back on my work and dial down my distractions :)
     
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  7. Jayson

    Jayson Force Sensitive

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    I think this is
    I really am amazed.

    It's like I found an Atheist Pope.

    I truly am...well. Stunned is the word. I don't think I've ever imagined anyone ever taking the prequels so non-mythologically while at the same time saying that it is mythological without using any mythological devices in its narrative.

    Just the idea of anyone seeing the prequels as not about the prophesied chosen one rising and falling. I mean - that's even in nearly every interview with Lucas. He nearly trips over himself with the amount of times he's talked about the rise and fall of Aankin being central, and how the Chosen One thing is all this super important aspect of it - he even made a separate mini-documentary for ROTS just on the topic of "the chosen one" - and he won't shut up about the rise, fall, and redemption of Anakin being the main story of all six movies.

    You're effectively saying that all that exists is the purely mechanical. The rest isn't present.

    Yeah, I gathered that, and yes I could have stepped off a while back and said that "Inherited Debt of Obligation" is satisfied with all of what's been said, and it therefore doesn't matter.

    But it does matter.
    It does because of context.

    Let me go back to a previous comment.
    The Statue of Liberty.

    It rests on Liberty Island (yes - I did write Staten before - foggy head from drugs - all I can think is I thought "Statue" and "Island" at the same time and spit out "Staten"?).

    It means something, and it means something in part because of where it is located. Its context. The setting - its ambience.

    If you take it off of Liberty Island and hold it in a void without any context, just a blank white void with only the Statue of Liberty in it...it's very much still the Statue of Liberty.

    You don't need the setting for it to be the Statue of Liberty. It will be the Statue of Liberty regardless of where it is - regardless of what the context is.
    It could exist in Texas as part of the Mexican/US Border Wall and it would still be the Statue of Liberty.

    But the meaning would be absolutely different if it wasn't right next to Ellis Island.
    Ellis Island and that harbor saw scores of immigrants pouring into this country.​

    Liberty stands in that context.

    That is the part of film in debate here. I'm not sure if you earnestly don't recognize such things' existence, or if you readily recognize their existence, but deny them for the purpose of the tangent of proving a point.

    If the point is that you can do away with metaphor and symbolism in Star Wars and run it without it having any effect on the actions in the film - you are absolutely correct.

    And desperately wrong at the same time.
    You might have just as well asserted that color means nothing to the story of Star Wars.


    If you think there's a world where Lucas could have made that film, a film without contextual metaphor and symbolism which is intended to affect the narrative understanding of the film, then you either aren't being sincere in that assertion, or you really don't know Lucas even a little bit as an artist.

    The man walks in metaphorical shoes.

    The point I was making was that the prophecy is only valuable as this obligation upon Anakin as a narrative motivator.
    Yes, the story will fall apart without it. Just as the story will fall apart without John Williams, color, or The Force.
    None of these things matter to the mechanics of the film, but they mean so much to the meaning of the film.

    Yes. It does still exist.

    And I really must stress that this is the most important part you so far don't seem to have any concern over, and the real part I keep trying to show you.

    What doesn't exist if you take it out is an ontological representation of our existential plight as one imbued with subjective relationships with Existing, and a representation of the relationships we have with Existing as it is perceived experientially by being an equal of Existence.

    By moving the Statue of Liberty, you change what it says even though it is - in every real and mechanical way - the Statue of Liberty, because you changed the context of the experience, which changes the identity of its existence.

    If someone ignores metaphor, then of course metaphors don't mean anything.

    I feel you here. I'm very behind my writing schedule due to my back surgery.
    On the other hand, the drugs make writing a bit challenging, so I'm probably leaning on the forum as a psychological scratcher since I can't work on my story atm the way I want to.


    Also...metanarratively to our discussion...
    The value to me of this discussion cannot be overstated.
    You are teaching me to be extremely mindful in my own writing.
    Before, I would have assumed metaphor to be a given as part of narrative language and that I don't need to concern over smackimg the point on the nose mechanically, but now I'm realizing I do or there will be those who won't see any meaning that I haven't explicitely laid out.

    I'm going to have to rethink my current project...

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
    #287 Jayson, Sep 24, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2020
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  8. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Force Sensitive

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    I don't have a problem with that. My problem was that the same villain was used and that the finale of the ST in the same place that ROTJ's finale does. The Knights of Ren as Dark Side fanatics would have been enough. Kylo Ren accomplishing what Vader couldn't and riding that to the end would have been enough.
    Both provide echoes of what came before, rhymes if you will, while still doing their own thing.

    I'm not disagreeing with this either. But again, there's a way to play with these tropes and stories to make it so that it feels fresh. Make the naïve country bumpkin a be related to evil in a world ruled by evil, upsetting the status quo. Have the boy who falls to evil be someone who fell to good, because our main moral alignment is off. Have redemption seen as corruption. And again, betrayal can be a commonplace here, so it doesn't hurt as much - heck, maybe it's expected, and the fact that it's expected throws everything off. The leader being trapped can be a test, to see if the country bumpkin will reach for power when the opportunity presents itself.

    This would feel like a very fresh story in Star Wars, but it's using all of the familiar parts. And I don't think that the ST did this entirely wrong - TFA is an example of this done right. But when you get to TROS...

    Ha! My cynical first thought was "yeah they turned Finn into the male counterpart of that," but I'll let that go this time for the joke.

    But it didn't need to, and it actively weakens the story by doing so. It wasn't a sample either. A sample is what TFA did, by using a familiar story to focus on the characters.* I always say it was great decision for the franchise but terrible for the story. TROS didn't really focus on the characters, since it needed to wrap up the plot. You can tell this is the case because of the pacing. Had it wanted to focus on the characters, the plot would have slowed down more than it did and allow them to breath, act, react, and contemplate. As it stands, TROS didn't do that. The audience can't spend too much time mourning Chewie because he's not dead. Rey can't spend too much time processing the reveal that she's related to Palpatine because she needs to escape and continue on with the mission.

    Yes, it is, and it shouldn't be is sort of the point.

    Eh, I disagree on that too here. I barely saw the plot or the points brought up in the PT here. Where's the theme of the Chosen One, or the failure of the Jedi as an institution, or the warnings of power held by one person? Where are any of the PT aesthetics, fights, or worlds? Where's the worldbuilding or that vast scope that the PT always head. JJ is notorious for his dislike of the PT. That was why he chose the path with TFA that he did. But sometimes you have to move past your dislike to do what was necessary for the story (or in this case the saga), and JJ absolutely failed here. JJ's biggest connection to the PT was Palpatine, and frankly Palpatine was stripped of all the cunning and corruption (as a force; Palpatine was clearly corrupted physically) he possessed in the PT and even the OT.

    I agree here, but the point is that TROS fell back to old familiar tropes and archetypes instead of moving those archetypes into something new, which is the point of new narrative interplays between archetypes. That's part of the problem:

    Ben Solo dies like his grandfather instead of showing us what would happen had Vader lived and atoned.
    Kylo Ren finds another master instead of showing how Vader would have ruled his empire.
    Rey's whole journey is to find her family, her place of belonging. And at the end of the day, she simply leaves them for a fanservice moment that isn't really needed.
    What's the point of the Empire coming back if we're going to deal with them in the same way and rebuild in the same way?



    TFA was half-and-half. TLJ was very character driven. TROS was all plot driven.
    This isn't new to Star Wars either, as the OT was pretty much the exact same. ANH is half-and-half, ESB is character driven, and ROTJ is mostly plot driven (but I think Luke's arc was very character driven).
    I don't think one is better than the other, but I don't think we should get them mixed up, and I don't think TROS was a necessarily good plot-driven story.
    (Humorously enough, someone on Reddit earlier today claimed that a story I like was plot driven because they couldn't see the connection between two things that were explicitly explained. I argued that it was character driven, since it was the character's driving motivation for the previous installment as well as this one. They weren't far in the book, so I couldn't say much.)

    I don't really deny this, but I do think it's a detriment, and that's the problem. I don't think the ST needed to be a reprise, at least not in full. Nor do I think it's a particularly good reprise, because it doesn't elevate or assist the first verse. It actively works against it be destroying everything shared. And that's the crux of the problem. A reprise should not only be in a new context, but build upon what came before in a meaningful way or at least change the perspective. The ST clearly doesn't do any of this.

    My favorite examples of this is are music ones. One of my favorite bands is this rock band called Red. The first and last voiced songs on their album Innocence and Instinct are "Fight Inside" and "Nothing and Everything." These two songs have the exact same words, exact same cords, and exact same melody. But the change comes from the instruments provided and the pace of the song. "Fight Inside" is this angry rock song about an internal struggle going on. But there's this sense of hope throughout the song due to it's guitar and screams.
    "Nothing and Everything" strips away the guitars and screams, replacing them with a piano and more melodic tones. It's slower, and the theme goes from resistance to inevitable failure. The song bleeds despair. But does that despair strip "Fight Inside" of it's context? No, I don't think so. This is because both mean different things at different times, and both stand on their own.





    Or maybe a better example would be my favorite Linkin Park album, A Thousand Suns.

    The album starts with "The Requiem," a synthetic/auto-tuned voice sings the chorus of a later song called "The Catalyst". "The Requiem" and the next interlude if you will lead into "Burning In the Skies." "Jornada Del Muerto" repeats a refrain from "The Catalyst," but in Japanese. Later in the album, "The Fallout" sings the voice of "Burning In the Skies," as the voice fades from the robotic tones that it was in "The Requiem" back into the human voice of Mike Shinoda, just in time for "The Catalyst."

    I'll link a YouTube version of the album below - I highly recommend you give it a listen, outside of just for this Star Wars talk.



    The point of all of this is that the echoes and refrains are used to highlight, foreshadow, and otherwise explore themes and narrative in a way that simple repetition can't.

    And I know you're thinking that this proves your point, but my point is that TROS does not do this. TFA does this with ANH. TLJ does this with ESB and ROTJ to a degree. But TROS doesn't do this, and instead rips the entire ending of ROTJ wholesale, wounding the OT in a horrible fashion that I'm not sure Star Wars can fully recover from.

    Stories about cycles can end where they started, but there needs to be a major difference as well. A character who starts their journey alone shouldn't end it lonely. A girl who's alone and waiting for her family at the beginning of the journey doesn't need to be alone and ignoring it at the end. A story that starts in a Breaking ends best with a Mending.
    In the first chapter of Naruto, the titular character is paining on the mountain-carved faces of previous leaders as a way to gain attention. The final chapter of Naruto has the titular character stopping his son Boruto from doing the exact same thing, and talking to Boruto in a way that no one really talked to him as a child. There's narrative symmetry, and even parallel reasons, but the story ends differently. (It's hinted that Naruto actually ended up helping his son paint over the rest of the carvings instead of scolding and stopping him.)

    TROS does not do any of this.

    Wisecrack has a very interesting video about this.





    I mean, JJ's words about how things were looser on TROS and there was more improv sort of go against it, as does Daisy Ridley's interview last week. JJ clearly had MAJOR points he wasn't sure about, but decided to put them in as he was working on the film. While that's not necessarily what I would do, the problem again doesn't come as much with that as it does with the quality of what he put in. But this is me just being a contrarian, so don't take it as a real point.


    Overall, you're right that TROS is a repetition of ROTJ in its ending. My point is that by being so in the way that it is, TROS actively ruins the ending of ROTJ.


    *TFA also did something that my favorite author Brandon Sanderson calls the Newt Dilemma. Basically, sometimes in a sequel the creators will kill/take away the main emotional carrier of the previous movie. This is apparently seen with the character Newt between Aliens and Alien 3. This is also seen partially in The Raid: Redemption and The Raid 2. In Star Wars, it has to do with the goals and sacrifices the characters in the OT made. Fans had been investing in Han and Leia's relationship for DECADES, and then TFA came a destroyed it. The New Republic that Leia spent her life building? Destroyed. The Jedi that Luke was tasked to rebuild? Rebuilt off-screen and then destroyed. All that growth that Han did and the responsible leader he became? Undone, and he's back to smuggling. While I don't personally have a giant problem with these, I DO see why it ticks other people off so much, and I'd say that they fall under the same category as Newt.
     
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  9. Jayson

    Jayson Force Sensitive

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    In essence, I don't disagree with much of what you're saying.

    The difference is that I'm quite alright with it all and even see a beauty in it.

    Now...it's not how I would do things, but that's neither here nor there.

    Regarding TROS' fitting:
    You are thrown off by TROS not fitting in. TFA = ANH, TLJ = ESB/ROTJ, TROS = ....

    That's more or less a part of your points.
    Thing is, that's because TROS is a round robin.
    It's not ROTJ.

    TLJ answered ESB and ROTJ which left TROS free.

    Before TROS came out, I wrote a thread about the chiasm of Star Wars and noted that I believed that TROS would either do nothing - which I thought was unlikely - or it would do a round robin.
    https://thecantina.starwarsnewsnet....-in-the-history-of-chiastic-literature.56268/

    I even made an image to go with it.
    [​IMG]

    So you're right. It doesn't fit. Because it has to bounce around every main theme ever.

    That's also why TLJ doesn't fit. It should have just been ESB, but instead it did ESB and ROTJ.

    Now, they also sample the PT. Which brings me to the next point.

    You commented that the ST did not really reprise the PT because it didn't contain any of the trappings of the PT, especially not aesthetically.

    Absolutely it aesthetically chose the OT, without a doubt.

    However, it does reprise the PT.
    Kylo's entire arc is Anakin's arc with reversals everywhere.
    You proposed at one point the idea of instead flipping things on its head so that we watch the golden boy of evil fall to the good.

    That is Kylo.
    We pick up with him already well into the clutches of the world of evil and we watch his rise in evil and his training to be a knight of evil.
    To the frustrations of his masters, he falls and fails at becoming evil and instead becomes good.

    This is a reverse of Anakin's chosen one character arc in the PT.

    You mentioned the bit about how we didn't have a reprise of the PT's Jedi conversation.
    That was reprised in TLJ and TROS through Luke.

    Luke's view in TLJ is a direct judgement of the Jedi of the PT, and the film responds to the complexity of the issue. In TROS, it is once again revisted when Rey attempts to follow in Luke's footsteps but this time by being the PT council and Anakin at the same time and judging herself too dangerous. But Luke stops her as she stopped him before.

    The PT is harder to spot because the aesthetic isn't followed and the politics of the ST are reformed to comment on our current environment.

    But the politics of the PT are reprised, and so are the politics of the OT.
    The politics of the PT are the corruption of democracy through naive bureaucracy.
    The politics of the OT are the uniting of the people to overturn tyranny.

    The politics of the ST are the hubris of democracy causing it to fail to admit the growth of extremist fascism that idolizes past fascist ideals, and the disagreement over responding to it causing a division of the people.

    It finaled in a message of hope that once fascism actually pushes, the people will finally unite.
    It's a beautiful thought, but I don't think I can agree.

    So far as I can tell people only fight fascism when the fascism doesn't sing their version of the national anthem.

    But that's a different subject.

    Point is, it's all there.

    And yes, TROS is a blender of a movie.
    Absolutely. That's because of the Round Robin.
    Not saying anyone must like it.

    As to the character/plot driven part:
    Character driven: Taxi Driver, Apocolypse Now.
    Plot Driven: Indiana Jones, Back to the Future.

    Star Wars of OT and PT may get into the muddy waters of character motivations, absolutely.
    So do a lot of plot driven movies.

    Plot driven doesn't mean it can't include character motivation.

    However, the difference is that no matter what, the classic 6 will never be akin to Taxi Driver or Momento.
    We aren't driving through the physchoanalysis of the character as the thing which leads the writer.

    That is, however, exactly how the ST was written.
    You can read Lucas in conferences for the OT, and watch the PT documentaries and see clear as day that Lucas works through plot points and moment archetpes as his primary method of writing.

    Meanwhile, everyone involved in the ST goes on and on about where the character's mind is at as what is driving their choices in writing.

    Even in TROS.
    While yes, it's bouncing around plot moment reprisals in a round robin, but the main interest they used to determined when to hop to which reprise next was Rey and Kylo's psychoanalytical narratives.

    Anyway - yeah, I don't think anyone is wrong for not liking it. It's easily meh to a lot of folks.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
    #289 Jayson, Sep 25, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2020
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  10. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Force Sensitive

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    I'm not thrown off by it not fitting in with the OT, because as you say, it takes its entire ending from ROTJ. I'm thrown off by it not adding anything of value and actively harming what came before.


    But TROS didn't DO anything with that freedom is my problem. It circled back to ending in the same place with no overarching difference.

    TLJ fits fine, but it doesn't mesh fine. But that's a different issue. I honestly don't mind that TLJ did ESB and ROTJ.

    Fair point! I totally forgot about that.

    But it doesn't solve the ultimate problem of how to stop fascism or empires. It's saying "this is bad," but the ST doesn't really give us any ideas as to how to combat it, or what to do once we defeat it. THAT'S the place TROS could have spoken up and changed everything, completing the journey from Episode 1 all the way through Episode 9. But they didn't address this, and I have no reason to believe anything will change. By not changing the narrative or the context at the end, Episode 9 creates a sort of defeatist cycle within the Star Wars universe that I don't think it should have to carry or connote.

    Ha! I'd counter and say that the ST actually predicted this quite well - fascism is only fought when the masses who aren't usually affected start to feel the effects.

    I wish I didn't feel so negative about this movie either. I don't think it's that a lot of people went into it wanting to dislike or feel meh about it (although undoubtedly there were those who did), it's just that TROS fired on all the wrong cylinders for so many people.

    I looked over this. Great job by the way! My thoughts on chiastic structure, Star Wars, and TROS:


    I fully expected TROS to follow the chiastic structure, but my own view of how it is/was in a simplified manner:

    TPM (Increase in governmental powers)
    AOTC (War begins, and Republic power increases)
    ROTS (War ends & Empire is created)
    ANH (War begins)
    ESB (War IS, and Empire power increases.)
    ROTJ (War ends, Empire is destroyed)
    TFA (War begins & First Order is "created")
    TLJ (War IS, and First Order power increases)
    TROS (War ends, and decrease in governmental powers)

    (One could argue that the war begins in TPM, but it only comes to the forefront in AOTC.)


    To me, this means that the ending of TROS needed to echo TPM (which itself is an echo of ANH) more than anything else in terms of tone, structure, and thematic presence. What is the role of the Chosen One after he has passed? What is the legacy of the Jedi? The saga started with an increase in authoritarian power (it happens in the opening crawl of ANH and the story of TPM), and to me TROS's ultimate goal should have been to address this by decreasing that power.

    In the Stormlight Archive there's a type of poem called a Ketek. It's a poem written in five parts each expressing their own individual though, that read the same forward and backward (although they do allow for a change in tense). Some examples include:

    "Above silence, the illuminating storms—dying storms—illuminate the silence above."
    "United, new beginnings sing: "Defying truth, love. Truth defy!" Sing beginnings, new unity. "

    This is what chiastic structure should have brought to Star Wars and TROS. Each trilogy should be able to stand separate on its own, but when combined it should become something greater. The reuse of themes shouldn't degrade or otherwise ruin (or create the feeling of ruin) the parts that came before.

    At the end of the day, we both know we don't see eye to eye on this movie, so let's just agree to disagree.
     
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  11. Jayson

    Jayson Force Sensitive

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    AH!
    Well, yes. And no. But I think from where you're likely thinking - yes.

    What the ST did was close everything through putting every shoe on the other foot. TROS continued that pattern.
    Now, whether that's good enough - that's entirely up to each person's own judgement and no one can assert that it was or wasn't good enough as an objective fact.
    So I don't want you to think I'm saying that it did add something and you're wrong. I would more say, you're right and it did add something.

    I know that addition is pretty superficial, but it's a metaphorical addition.
    In terms of the morality play, the PT was right to left and the OT was left to right.

    This is usually where I anger some folks, but it's how it comes off, so ... *shrug*, but the analogy I use is that the car starts out on the road and the PT pulled the wheel sharply to the left. The OT then reached over and pulled the wheel sharply to the right. The ST reached over and pulled the wheel to the middle.

    How? Because the child of evil, made from evil, has chosen good. That's both moral dilemmas in one personification.

    The world is actually metaphorically less than after ROTJ. After ROTJ, the world was bent towards good - thematically (I'm talking politically et. al.).
    A good son saved his bad Father who once was good. That's actually bent towards good in the balance of things thematically (this is where I anger people who are big fans of Anakin balancing the Force and that needing to have been the end of it - period...for those folks, sorry. Just ignore this - this isn't for you ;) ).

    Anyway, the point is that it was never neutralized thematically.
    It is thematically neutral now because a Palpatine chose to be a Skywalker.
    Like particle annihilation or math. -1 + +1 = 0.

    Starting from the PT, what you have is
    Listing: Anni + Palps + Darth = PT final position = Bad.
    (note: -Anni is equal to +Darth)
    Moral Math: +1 + -1 + -1 = -1
    OT runs as:
    Listing: Luke + Darth + Anni + Palps - Palps = Good.
    (note: keep in mind that +Anni is -Darth)
    Moral Math: +1 + -1 + +1 + -1 + +1 = +1
    And the ST runs:
    Listing: Rey Nobody + Kylo + Ben + Rey Palpatine + Rey Skywalker + Palps - Palps = Neutral.
    (note: I could add Snoke as well, but +Snoke -Snoke is equal to no Snoke, and there's debate if Snoke was Palps, so just leaving him out since it doesn't matter)
    Moral Math: 0 + -1 + +1 + -1 + +1 + -1 + +1 = 0​

    And that was the primary point of the ST in direction.
    Because, and again, man...PT prophecy fans and Anakin fans are going to hate me....but while the prophecy was very much fulfilled in and as much as it was (wipe out the Sith = restore balance...also, totally not going to argue if that happened or not - A) I don't care B) everyone involved in Star Wars from Lucas, Abrams, Terrio, Pablo, etc.. have said it happened)...anyway, let me start that sentence over ...

    While the prophecy was very much fulfilled, the OT narratively left the story +1 for Good.
    It didn't actually leave the state of the universe at a moral zero net gain.

    You might think, "well, -1 + +1 = 0, so obviously the OT zeros out the PT", but no.
    Because if you add the -1 to the OT of the PT final instead of starting from scratch, you end up with +2 because you have to remove the -1 for Palps and remove the -1 for Darth, which means you would start at -1, add Luke, remove Palps, remove Darth and add Anni, and end up at +2.

    So it doesn't actually zero out the previous. It only ends up as a -1 if you start each trilogy as a new narrative not inheriting the moral weight of the previous which is true, because they don't carry their narratives trilogy over trilogy in terms of moral metaphors and motifs. Each set stops at 3 films and the narrative board is cleared for the next trilogy in terms of moral weight.

    Further, the final value is the current state of the universe in terms of narrative morality by the end of the given trilogy. It is not the running net sum trilogy over trilogy.

    The PT left us with a current universe headed for evil. The OT left us with a current universe headed for good.
    And the ST left us with a current universe headed for neither.

    And that loops into the other point you made.....
    That's because the ST doesn't pretend to have an answer.
    The ST is actually super depressing in a way because what it does it muddy the crisp and clean edges of the Star Wars good and bad dichotomy. A LOT.
    And from what I understand, this was actually what Lucas was going to be doing as well - muddying up the waters and showing that there is no easy or clear answer to anything, and no such thing as just good and just evil.

    So the ST doesn't deliver an answer.
    What it delivers is a position about what to do in the face of a world without answers, without an obvious clear course forward.
    It lands on, "Try to do good".

    It rips out the Yoda philosophy of there being no Try, and just champions the word all day long. It doesn't champion doing good. Folks in this trilogy aren't just running around in absolutely assuredness that they are doing the right thing.
    They mostly just know they have to do something, and hope it's the right thing.

    And I'd almost kind of say that's really the biggest message of the ST: hope.
    I wouldn't say that's the message of the OT. It's the title of one of its films, but the message of the OT is, "Do good".
    Contrasted by the PT which is, "Good can fail."

    The full message of the ST, really, is "You can be wrong, and it can seem hopeless, but try to do good."
    Which is a sort of combination of the PT and OT, but more jaded and less chipper.

    That's why I say it's a bit somber compared to the OT. It doesn't argue for which answer is the right answer.

    For me, I think this is smart. I also think it's the most honest answer.
    "F*** if we know! Have you seen the s*** going on lately? F***! Just try to do some good, and hope s*** works out."

    Actually, now that you point that out - you're right. Nice!

    To be frankly honest, every film in the ST fired on all the wrong cylinders for large numbers of people.
    Every single film has been followed by a wash of complaints, and debates, and "should have", and finger pointing, name calling, etc....

    I don't think it's unique to TROS by a long shot. But yeah. It's definitely "meh" for a lot of folks. *shrug*

    Thanks. :)

    Very politically focused view. Interesting.
    Clearly politics is very important to you.

    This loops back to the political point I made above about how TROS doesn't have an answer. And its themes are built around that position. It doesn't know how things should go, or where they are going.

    The problem is, that is a very dissatisfying type of ending to a lot of folks in Western culture (especially American culture).

    Considering I was OK with Rey and Ben dying and was kind of hoping for it (perfect chiastic answer would be both dead after both swapping sides), I'm totally fine with a deflated balloon without a grand festival as the ending.

    I do think that happens, but to each their own.

    That said, I also think this was a hell of a challenge. No one has ever made a three part trilogy saga that has chiastic narratives to write the narrative around, and in the history of the literary form to my knowledge there's not one example of a 9 part, 3 act chiasm where Act 1, 2, and 3 (PT, OT, ST) are each three acts themselves (first movie, second movie, third movie of trilogy), and each of those acts (films) are themselves three acts (classic three acts of a single film), all while attempting to continue the weave of chiasm throughout.

    It would already be a beast just in creation. It's compounded by also being food for pop-culture entertainment.
    There is some super nerd narrative anthropology s*** going on in this narrative development and it's being billed as pop-entertainment.

    I honestly couldn't imagine attempting such a thing. So, I mean...I'm not saying folks should do anything or not...but where the films (any of them) get things sloppy, I tend to kind of cut them a break (for myself) because daaa***. That's insane.

    Oh!
    I'm sorry, I didn't realize I was coming off as trying to convince you of TROS merits. I'm sorry. I wasn't.
    I was merely carrying on about how I see things in the categorization of the ways you were highlighting things.

    I don't see your views as wrong. I mean, you get from it what you get from it. And what you get from it is, "meh".
    *shrug* I'm cool with that.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  12. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Force Sensitive

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    You have nothing to apologize for! My point is that we're not going to agree on the categorization process or our feelings (or 99% of this movie to be honest), and since we've had similar discussions on this before on at least two other threads lol, I think we should just split ways on TROS for now.
     
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  13. Jayson

    Jayson Force Sensitive

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    Cool beans! :)

    [​IMG]

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  14. Kraven Head

    Kraven Head Rebelscum

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    Ain't that the truth. I despise being told, or seeing someone else being told, we're wrong because someone disagrees w/ our opinions.
     
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  15. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Force Sensitive

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    I know we're not continuing the convo, but I just wanted to clarify: it's not that politics is super important to me as a person - I mean, it is, but this isn't an outgrowth of that feeling. It's that to me, this felt like the best and frankly easiest backbone of the series to build off of for the cyclical nature of things while still righting other wrongs.

    The PT is about the shift in power within a Republic and the growth of an empire and the OT is about the fall of an empire. I felt like the ST's perfect ending would have been a dissolution of the central government into smaller pieces, as Poe and other new leaders fear that a central government at this moment is too easy to turn into an empire.* (This is NOT my political belief AT ALL, or at least not for my country. I just think it works best here.) Just like how Rey (most likely) won't be the same type of Jedi Luke turned out to be, Poe doesn't have to set up the government in the same way Leia and the Rebellion did.

    From there, the Post-ST era could have something like Japan's Sengoku Jidai or "Warring States" era where multiple governments and factions are warring amongst each other, but conflicts don't have to be galaxy-wide. And through this, we could (have) see(n) multiple force groups pop up within the multiple factions, including multiple schools of thought for Jedi.** This era of conflict would ultimately end in someone attempting and possibly succeeding in uniting the smaller governments into a larger one in order to fight a massive enemy. This is where things would "circle back around," as it this action would look eerily similar to Palpatine's actions in Episode 1.
    As to who that is or what that government would look like, I'd let someone else decide - it's a Post-Fifth Trilogy thought. ***

    Edit: This is also part of my problem with the ST as a whole. I can imagine a whole future for Star Wars that involves how the next era looks different, it's overarching political state, and how that will eventually pave a way to something else; but I feel like the heads/creative minds of Lucasfilm can't or aren't trying to do that. I mean, NOW they are, as evidenced by KK's comments a few weeks ago. I'm still of the philosophy that this should have been more cognizant of all of this as they neared the finale of the ST at the very least. But we're here now so let's deal with it now...

    Truthfully I still struggle with this, especially (and a lot of times exclusively) with TROS. It's not that I don't want people to enjoy it - on the contrary, I very much wish I did. But I feel like it's bad and there's nothing wrong with liking something that's bad, so long as we don't try to praise or raise it up to be more than it is. On the other hand, art is subjective, and one person's "bad" is another person's "beautiful." And on the other, other hand, being excessively negative on a topic without bringing up some of the positive aspects does nothing but wear down the spirits of all involved.

    *This also fits with Leia's political ideology within the current EU. She opposed Centralist leanings out of fear that another Emperor could arise far too easily. So dissolving the New Republic and creating smaller government felt like a way to honor Leia's own ideals as well as do something different.
    **This may be a more controversial opinion, depending on how the person in charge of all of this views the Jedi - are they more like a religion, with core tenants and beliefs? Are they a school of thought? How flexible is the definition of a Jedi, and what defines them?
    ***Fourth Trilogy is Warring States Era Star Wars, or as I like to call it, the Force Wars; Fifth Trilogy is the Reunification Era Star Wars. Maybe the Yuuzhan Vong.
     
    #295 Use the Falchion, Sep 28, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2020
  16. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rebel Official

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    The Sequel Trilogy doesn't undo the ending of Return of the Jedi because it isn't continuing the story of the Original Trilogy, at least not directly.

    The Skywalker Saga isn't a single story told over nine installments, it's a series of 3 separate Serials that each tell a different self-contained story while simultaneously forming parts of a larger overarching narrative.

    It's one of the reasons why certain parts of each individual Trilogy can mirror other parts of the others in either structure or plot points without said mirroring being a problem.
     
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  17. Kraven Head

    Kraven Head Rebelscum

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    Said it before...The ST should have been marketed as a standalone trilogy beyond the "Skywalker Saga" and w/o the Emperor.
    This way the ST would have been judged on its own merits without the burden being compared to the PT/OT and trying to fill in plot holes.

    Cheers, KH
     
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  18. Jayson

    Jayson Force Sensitive

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    I completely disagree.
    Most of what I love about the ST is a result of its relationship with the OT and PT as a third part of the set.

    Take that away, and especially take the Emperor out - take away all of the links to the OT and PT, and I'm very certain I would care about as much as I care about Rogue One...no - scratch that. I would care less.

    And if you're wondering if I care so little about the idea of new Star Wars films that aren't connected to anything.
    Yes.
    I might find something interesting in it, but I'm not hopeful at all. I think they're going to go off the rails really fast and lose track of what I - at least - find interesting about Star Wars.

    Mando is hanging in there pretty well, but the last three episodes started to lose me.
    And while it captures a fair amount of Star Wars flair, there's quite a bit still missing - and I think that element will likely remain forever gone as I don't expect audiences (from what I've seen) to have nearly any patience or interest in it anymore.

    *shrug* Oh well. I never planned on hanging around Star Wars beyond the ST anyway, and considered anything beyond it as just kudos.
    But yeah, if the ST were stripped down and thrown out as a stand alone trilogy, I would have watched it - sure, and I wouldn't have cared.
    The entire narrative architecture would have been fundamentally different - it wouldn't have even been the same set of films at all. They are joined heavily to the previous films narratively, so I don't get this angle.

    I mean - that's to me just to say, "I hated the ST, and I wish they just hadn't made them, and made something else entirely that wasn't connected to the original films."
    OK, that's fair enough.

    I probably wouldn't have found that interesting beyond maybe being passably novel, but we'll see. We'll see what the next trilogy for Star Wars looks like. I stand very skeptical that I will like them, but I'm betting a lot of folks who are tired of the Skywalker saga and anthology films will likely dig it. Especially if it's an expose of world building as a central focus, and dives deeply into the Star Wars lore. That seem really popular among many, many fans.
    Which is why it will likely lose me entirely - that's all "meh" to me.

    But, I recognize I'm an odd duck. I like Star Wars because I like film. I don't like Star Wars films, or hate them, because I like Star Wars.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  19. Rogues1138

    Rogues1138 Jedi General

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    I watched the entire sequel trilogy over the weekend its fine could be better maybe my expectations ruined my enjoyment of TROS. I saw it four times in the theater to convince myself that it was good, but reality hit once I watched it in the comfort of my own home. TROS gets good for me when Rey takes off on that water skiff, but millions of Star Destroyers just is foolish, Jar Jar Abrams should have included 4 Death Stars and 3 more Star Killer bases... why not? Lando putting together an army overnight still isn't plausible in the least but hey it's a fairy tale, space opera, right? Horses on a Star Destroyer... ok where's verisimilitude in that? The ending was sweet... will some poor Jedi unearth those buried Lightsabers 100 years from now? who knows...

    cheers,
    The Rogue
     
    #299 Rogues1138, Sep 28, 2020
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 29, 2020
  20. Jayson

    Jayson Force Sensitive

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    And there it is.
    That classic go-to that I was almost wondering if everyone had forgotten back when everyone was screaming about TLJ and wanting Abrams back. lol

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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