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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. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    "I had planned for the first trilogy to be about the father, the second trilogy to be about the son, and the third trilogy to be about the daughter and the grandchildren. Episodes VII, VIII, and IX would take ideas from what happened after the Iraq War. Okay, you fought the war, you killed everybody, now what are you going to do?’ Rebuilding afterwards is harder than starting a rebellion or fighting the war. When you win the war and you disband the opposing army, what do they do? The stormtroopers would be like Saddam Hussein’s Ba’athist fighters that joined ISIS and kept on fighting. The stormtroopers refuse to give up when the Republic win. They want to be stormtroopers forever, so they go to a far corner of the galaxy, start their own country, and their own rebellion. There’s a power vacuum so gangsters, like the Hutts, are taking advantage of the situation, and there is chaos. The key person is Darth Maul, who had been resurrected in The Clone Wars cartoons—he brings all the gangs together. He’s very old, and we have two versions of him. One is with a set of cybernetic legs like a spider, and then later on he has metal legs and he was a little bit bigger, more of a superhero. We did all this in the animated series, he was in a bunch of episodes.

    Darth Maul trained a girl, Darth Talon, who was in the comic books, as his apprentice. She was the new Darth Vader, and most of the action was with her. So these were the two main villains of the trilogy. Maul eventually becomes the godfather of crime in the universe because, as the Empire falls, he takes over. The movies are about how Leia—I mean, who else is going to be the leader?—trying to build the Republic. They still have the apparatus of the Republic but they have to get it under control from the gangsters. That was the main story.

    By the end of the trilogy Luke would have rebuilt much of the Jedi, and we would have the renewal of the New Republic, with Leia, Senator Organa, becoming the Supreme Chancellor in charge of everything. So she ended up being the Chosen One."
    -George Lucas

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  2. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Jedi Contrarian

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    It worked for me in a couple of ways. The first was the implication (and non-canonical Andy Serkis interviews) that Snoke was ancient. This was further backed up in the novelization* where Snoke talks about having seen the rise and fall of Vader, and how his weakness was sentiment.** Combine that with the semi-canonically connections between the Plagueis book and the Tarkin book*** as well as Disney cherry-picking things to be canon, and Plagueis was the best person to fit the picture of Snoke. See the whole "Snoke is Plagueis" thread on this very forum for more detailed analysis and theorizing.

    It would also be thematically relevant in some way, compounding on Palpatine's failure and Vader's actions against the Emperor. If Plagueis lived, Palpatine failed at all of his personal goals: His master lived, his apprentice betrayed him, and his empire fell. For all his machinations, his own pride and hubris undid him.

    You say that the Plagueis mention is an Easter egg. You're not wrong. But retconning that to be foreshadowing could have been a brilliant maneuver. Suddenly we go back through ROTS with new eyes, seeing the blatant name-drop of the Big Bad of the ST. Suddenly, fans are scouring the movies for more hints or things that can be interpreted as hints for the big reveal. And now, Disney has a whole backstory they can play with on how Plagueis survived and what he's been up to after leaving behind the Sith name. (He wouldn't even have been the first to do so, as that distinction goes to Maul.)

    To answer your question about mitigation...at the end of the day, it really doesn't. In theory it sounds great - the Big Bad behind the Biggest Bad so far is revealed, changing the way we look at previous movies. But the thing is that TROS tried that with Palpatine and failed. If nothing else changed but the villain, then the change wasn't really worth it. For Plagueis to have had any substantial affect on the ST if he was in it, at minimum the themes and endings would have had to change. Because isn't that where the meat of the issue is? At the end of by the end of TROS, it doesn't feel as if anything had changed substantially in-universe for us. Another Empire rose and fell. The Jedi came back, were wiped out, and will come back again. The Republic will probably live on. It's all cyclical. Plagueis by himself would not inherently change that.

    But the beauty about a change like Plagueis is that (ideally) has ripple effects that would overall change the story. If Plagueis is the Big Bad, then what does that mean for the Skywalker family? If Plagueis is the Big Bad, does Rey have to be anyone important to stop him? If Plagueis is the Big Bad, what does he want? How will he go about trying to get it? And how do our heroes need to stop him from achieving that?


    *Which is always treated as secondary to the movie, I know. But people read the novels for extra details and clarification and Easter eggs, and this sure felt like one at the time.
    **I feel like this was a scene in either TFA or TLJ, but I can't find it in either.
    ***Plagueis' droid is in possession of Palpatine and later Tarkin IIRC. There are other, smaller, details that hint at the Plagueis book being canon, but that was the largest one.



    Solid quote! Also George Lucas, circa 2018:

    "GL: [The next three Star Wars films] were going to get into the microbiotic world. But there's this world of creatures that operate differently than we do. I call them the Whills. And the Whills are the ones who actually control the universe. They feed off the Force."

    https://www.indiewire.com/2018/06/george-lucas-episode-vii-episode-ix-1201974276/

    George - and I do love the man - is a Big Idea guy who has had a lot of shifting ideas of what he wanted Star Wars to be. We see this not only in interviews but also in the fact that the special editions of Star Wars exist. I'm not saying he's a bad source for what the ST would have looked like, but his ideas about the ST have certainly changed with time.

    That being said, one could easily shape the context of what George said. Did he mean that the ST would be about the Midichlorians, or simply a new trilogy would explore it?
     
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  3. Jedi Knight Fett

    Jedi Knight Fett Jedi General

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    I am still very disappointed that Palpatine came back but what’s done is done. I don’t think you could introduce any threat without people saying ROTJ was ruined
     
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  4. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    Absolutely - that's part of being a creative mind, especially with a massive set up as Star Wars with a dizzying array of artistic wants laid upon it even before they started shooting in 1976.

    All I was really meaning to convey was that this idea of ROTJ being some Dome of the Rock is not really something that Lucas himself held and he himself was quite willing to just steamroll right over it and change things if he wanted to.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  5. Martoto

    Martoto Rebel Official

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    Ha! That would make me ancient then.

    If Plagueis ever even existed.

    ...mainly for those who try to pre-empt and anticipate which piece of trivia might be elevated I expect. The ones that have cherry picked that particular one to have higher importance in their head canon.



    This is not a hot take but I genuinely believe that if he had stuff in mind beyond episode VI that didn't exactly gel with the original trilogy's ending, Georeg would have had no problem retconning it in some way. Telling us that it wasn't the real Emperor, It was too easy for the Rebels to win like that, it had to be a decoy etc etc
     
    #405 Martoto, Aug 4, 2021
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2021
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  6. eeprom

    eeprom Prince of Bebers

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    Depending on which day of the week you happen to catch him on that is :D But since we’re getting all quote happy around here, I might as well throw these old gems up.

    "There will definitely be no Episodes VII-IX. That’s because there isn’t any story. I mean, I never thought of anything! And now there have been novels about the events after Episode VI, which isn’t at all what I would have done with it. The Star Wars story is really the tragedy of Darth Vader. That is the story." - Total Film 2008

    “I get asked all the time, ‘What happens after “Return of the Jedi”?,’ and there really is no answer for that,” he said. “The movies were the story of Anakin Skywalker and Luke Skywalker, and when Luke saves the galaxy and redeems his father, that’s where that story ends.” - LA Times 2008
     
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  7. Too Bob Bit

    Too Bob Bit Jedi Commander

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    There is also this from a 1999 interview with GL in Empire magazine in which George says Darth Maul will NEVER be coming back - which is interesting when you consider Lucas was going to have him as the antagonist in one version of his ST!

    GL: (Resignedly) It’s not about him… ha, ha, ha. Obviously everyone likes the villain better than they like the heroes, that’s sort of a tradition... At one point, when Obi-Wan kills Darth Maul, he just fell in the pit. I looked at it and thought this isn’t going to work because, if people like him enough, they’re going to want him to come back and they’re going to assume somehow he gets out of it. So I had to cut him in half to say that this guy’s gone, he’s history, he ain’t coming back. I’ll come up with another apprentice. The whole issue of having apprentices, poor Darth Sidious trying to replenish his apprentice supply, is one of the main plot points.

    https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/star-wars-archive-george-lucas-1999-interview/
     
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  8. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    Sure.
    On the other hand, the 'day of week' we caught him was in preperation to make the ST which lead to Arndt's treatment.

    There was no question if he intended more to come out at this point. He did. When he decided that is somewhat academic.

    And we know what those basic ideas looked like.

    One of those ideas was the Sith were back in swing.
    Another was Leia was the one.

    Both are often seen as sacreligious heresies by some.
    The point wasn't anything other than he was willing to do both of those supposed heretical things that should never happen because ROTJ was complete, sacred, and never to be recontextualized.

    Problem with that is that he clearly has no problems with completely altering entire contexts, values, and meanings.

    The fans' sense of blasphemy has repeatedly rarely been the same as his.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  9. eeprom

    eeprom Prince of Bebers

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    Also worth acknowledging is that the quotes I cited were during the press tour for The Clone Wars animated movie. So makes sense he wouldn’t want to entertain the idea of hypothetical future films when he was there to sell a very real one he was actively invested in. There’s a ‘Lucasian’ ;) sort of logic to shutting down that topic by making a sweeping statement like that.

    The point I was getting at was that the popular perception of ROTJ being the ‘end of the saga’ wasn’t the product of some ‘Mandela Effect’ or unfounded mass bias. The fans didn’t imagine this. The supreme authority on the subject matter outright said it was. And not in a cryptic ‘certain point of view’ plausible deniability sort of way. There’s no minced words there. If someone felt that Episode 6 was the definitive ending, well they’re justified. They were supposed to. That was the intent . . . at least at that time anyhow.

    It’s just a story though. Its writer can change his mind whenever he wants. I feel a big part of the pushback though is that it was someone else that continued his story. So there’s increased scrutiny there. If George backtracked on its finality, that would be one thing. If someone else did it, then it’s another. Even if the end product would have been identical.

    Although we do live in the same world as “George Lucas Raped Our Childhood”. So plenty of very sad folks would have felt ‘betrayed’ no matter what :rolleyes:
     
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  10. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Jedi Contrarian

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    He did. Canonically he existed and was talked about in Tarkin, which is a canon novel.

    Or for those who like to rewatch things and enjoy finding new ways to view and/or perceive the media. It's not just for the canon junkies, but for those who like it and are rewatching with friends and family, and can say "oh. OHHHH!" upon this new viewing.
    As for the anticipation stuff, that's both a result of the culture we live in and Star Wars itself. Star Wars prides itself on "everything being connected." That's why Ahoska and Saw Gerrera have to appear in pretty much everything nowadays, even if it doesn't fully make sense. That's why everyone has to know everyone, even if it raises more questions than answers. They had a whole marketing campaign during the Road to the Force Awakens stating that readers would be able to figure out how Kylo Ren's lightsaber worked if they read Heir to the Jedi. And it was in a throwaway line. They had built up a great mystery about Snoke, and alluded to him being a mysterious figure present at the end of Lost Stars, or even Rax, and those were tossed away just as quickly.
    The point I'm trying to make is that in the new Disney Era of Star Wars, at the beginning, they courted fans trying to read everything and piece together the future. It made them money, so why would they throw that away? Plagueis being present is an outgrowth of that philosophy. Had Snoke been a woman, or a younger man, or anything other than a giant, seemingly ancient being who knew things he probably shouldn't have known, then the Plagueis conversation wouldn't really be a part of the ST conversation at all.

    I'm not disagreeing with your point here, especially since I've seen those bad-faith head-canon arguments before. Remember Luke's compass in the Battlefront 2 storyline and TLJ promo material? Or Leia's ring somehow relating to Rey's past? Or all of the Rey-Anastasia comparisons? But I also think there are multiple reasons why people could want Plagueis being involved outside of just "Plagueis was mentioned and therefore he HAS to be present." I also don't think the problem is with over-analyzing or wanting things to tie together, and apparently neither does Lucasfilm, as mentioned above.

    Ultimately, like I said before, simply adding Plagueis wouldn't change much if done in a vacuum. But these sorts of changes tend to ripple into other things, and I think there may be an interesting - yet eerily familiar (for better or for worse) story there to tell.
     
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  11. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    Oh, yeah.
    I don't intend to say anyone is wrong to either personally hold it as such, nor to have ever believed that to have been the plan.

    It's more of a, well...before anyone starts casting stones for fault, consider that no mater who ended up in charge, the Dome of the Rock was coming down.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  12. Angelman

    Angelman Servant of the Whills -- Slave to the Muses
    1030th Grand Admiral ***** (Mod)

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    Oh man, disregarding the context and argument here for a second, that is a f***ing brilliant line just there, sir! Wow. Kudos :)
     
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  13. Martoto

    Martoto Rebel Official

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    That covers a lot of ground. Plagueis being elevated from enigmatic name-drop made by a professional liar to previously unseen hand of the entire saga, in place of the perfectly good unseen (in plain sight) hand of evil that was in it from episode 1 isn't what I'd call the best way you could satisfy that desire. You might as well say that Jar Jar was behind everything. That would certainly be a new way to perceive the media.
     
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  14. ManaraiJedi

    ManaraiJedi Clone Trooper

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    I don't consider them my personal canon, so no.

    You could say the same about some of the post ROTJ legends content as well.

    My main issue with the Sequels is the return of Palpatine and the Resistance and FO just being another Rebels vs Empire situation. Specifically Palpatine's return in TROS bothers me the most by far. So I just don't consider the Sequels my canon, same as I disregard Dark Empire for the same reason as well.
     
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  15. Martoto

    Martoto Rebel Official

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    Personally I just thought it didn't look very good. They could have had Sidious just be a disembodied voice for most of the movie and I would have been satisfied. Palpatine manipulating Rey and Ben to do something that would make him corporeal again might have been just as interesting.
     
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  16. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Jedi Contrarian

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    I mean, the Darth Jar Jar theory does exist and has been quite analyzed...and even that only works up to a certain point.
    (I'm also a fan of the lighter version where Jar Jar was a Dark Sider but not necessarily a Sith.)

    Wasn't that the whole point of the Prequel Trilogy in retrospect? Lucas took a minor detail (The Clone Wars) from a throwaway line that had little to do with the context of the situation (how I met your father and he's different from what you've been told) from someone we now know can be untrustworthy and manipulative (Obi-Wan Kenobi).
    So instead of doing that looking back, we do that to cast something forward. Instead of it being retrospective, it becomes foreshadowing.

    The problem with your unforeseen evil is the same one Plagueis suffered - both had been defeated and neither were intimidating by the time we got around to them. Both had been killed. At least with Plagueis the writers could say "Palpatine was young and didn't finish the job properly. It wouldn't be the last time either, as evidenced by the Skywalker's continued bloodline." But with Palpatine, the audience saw him be thrown down a reactor shaft and explode, and then saw the base the reactor shaft was one explode in the middle of space. And then had a retconned context telling us "this is permanent" with the Chosen One prophecy. When Palpatine was brought back, there wasn't even a good reason, explanation, or modicum of foreshadowing given. And in a series where those who die and are shown to die don't return to life, it was a major disconnect.* At least Plagueis would have been part of a pattern of hubris on Palpatine's part. (And extra ironic actually. Palpatine thought it was ironic that Plagueis could save others but not himself...but what if it was the exact opposite with the skill and result? Plagueis could only save himself, and Vader couldn't learn this skill to save others.***)
    Palpatine was loved for his machinations, for the fact we watched how he manipulated everyone for his own gain. TROS stripped that from him. We don't see how every road leads to his victory, or how he manipulates both sides subtlety (or not so subtlety). Instead we're given confusing plans and ideas. Does he want Kylo and Rey dead? Or just one of them? Or none of them? We're given weird marketing tactics, like having Palpatine's return announced in a Fortnite crossover event. We're not given a road to victory we can trace, simply a hand-waved reason for his return.

    There's also the fact that Plagueis is disconnected from Palpatine as a villain by a degree or two, so him appearing doesn't feel like it's disrespecting the sacrifice of the OT. Does Thanos' appearance in Infinity War and Endgame disrespect Loki's defeat in Avengers? Does Deckard Shaw's appearance in Furious 7 somehow disrespect Owen Shaw's defeat in Fast & Furious 6, despite being being mentioned in one scene?
    Bringing in the Bigger Bad doesn't have to be a bad thing, even if they were mentioned in a throwaway line or shown in one scene.** I mean, look at how disappointed we (as an audience) were about the Knights of Ren, despite them getting mentioned in one line ("leader of the Knights of Ren) and briefly shown in one scene. Look at how much of an effect Boba Fett has had on the Star Wars culture, despite being in two movies and going out like a chump. Quinlan Vos, Kit Fisto, and Aayla Secura went from a cool extras to some of the most popular Jedi of their time! Han's line about Parsecs had gone onto inspire many character and writing interpretations. (Was Lucas bad at physics? Was this a test by Han?)

    A throwaway line in Star Wars has always had more of an effect than people realize, and has always gone to inspire entire other stories, movies, and even trilogies in ways. I don't see why Darth Plagueis can or should be treated any different.

    *Force Ghosts don't return to life. They become one with the Force. Technical difference, but an important one. Also, there are two major exceptions in Maul (who skirts the guideline through noted effort to his story) and Boba Fett (who had lived through his death before, and whose death wasn't really plot-heavy).
    **It's not always a good thing either. Naruto did this to middling-if-negative effects. Now it's whole sequel series feels dedicated to fleshing out that idea as a consequence. ...which granted, has little correlation to the poor quality of said sequel series, but it certainly doesn't help. Ultimately, this is another form of serial escalation, and like every other trope, it's just a tool. It can be used for good or bad.
    ***Which now has me thinking of a videogame and Harry Potter sort of storyline for Episode 9. The movie starts with Snoke returning to life (a terrible retcon no better than Palpatine's revival, I know) and the First Order being split into factions. As a result, Kylo heads to the Resistance and offers a temporary truce, at least until they can defeat Snoke again. It's soon revealed that Snoke was Plagueis, a powerful Sith lord from the time before Palpatine. (No relation needs to be made.) He eventually was betrayed by his apprentice, and forsook the ways of the Sith soon after, realizing their ambition would always stunt their power. The crew find out that Snoke is drawing life from others around the galaxy, and must decide on how to defeat him. Do they find and stop each piece, or do they find a way to stop the transfer of life-force? The movie goes with the latter, but a team - and the Knights of Ren, if they're not in the movie - can be sent to find and destroy the artifacts in a tie-in game. At the end of it all, the First Order is sadly still standing, with Kylo at it's lead, but the Resistance (and maybe it's new government) are ready to meet any opposition. Which of course means there'd the a fourth trilogy, but hey, I'm pretty sure people expect one eventually anyways.
     
  17. eeprom

    eeprom Prince of Bebers

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    Maybe if the ST had gone a totally different route? The basis of the main conflict is that the evil Empire hadn’t truly died. It survived its supposed demise by becoming a much weaker, but far more vicious and fanatical version of its former self. Its goal as the First Order was no longer to maintain power over the galaxy, but to reclaim it. To take back what was rightfully theirs.

    If the Empire could live on in that fashion, then the concept of its Emperor doing the same isn’t too farfetched. Which is pretty much what we got in TROS. Robo-Sheev isn’t interested at all anymore in selling anyone on the lie of a “safe and secure society”. He’s out to take back what’s his by force now. And if he has to burn the whole damn thing down and rule its ashes, then that’s what he’ll do. Better to be the Emperor of embers than no emperor at all.

    I’m not sure how Plagueis works better in that setup. Are we to discover that he was secretly behind the Empire all along? The puppet master behind the puppet master? That all of Palpatine’s accomplishments were really his accomplishments? Sidious was just a pawn? And that’s how he connects to the main conflict and reflects the through line of desperately reclaiming lost power? I don’t know. Unless you fundamentally redraw the premise of the trilogy to support that, it just seems like a way bigger ‘hat on a hat’ to me than what we got.
     
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  18. cawatrooper

    cawatrooper Dungeon Master

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    I don't know if that's necessarily the case, though. A Plagueis show could maybe continue to show Palpatine's character, but it doesn't need to expand beyond its boundaries. Or, at the very least show Plagueis as either inspiration for the Empire, a mentor figure for Palpatine, or even a force compelling Palpatine to keep the Sith in the shadows (an idea which, of course, good old Sheevey would rebel against).
     
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  19. eeprom

    eeprom Prince of Bebers

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    Sure, if we’re talking about a D+ series that positions that character as the focus (or near focus) and crafts a relationship we can invest in. I’d be all on board for that. Sounds tasty. But specifically swapping Palps out as the archvillain of the movie series in favor of some guy who has no real prior significance beyond being the subject of an anecdote, I don’t see how that’s an upgrade from Snoke. More of a lateral move.

    The big bad wasn’t THIS creepy weirdo you have no reason to care about, it was actually THIS creepy weirdo you have no reason to care about . . . the whole time!! It’s like a mystery novel, that you didn’t know was a mystery novel while you were reading it, revealing that the killer wasn’t anyone you’d met before but some guy named Jeff who was mentioned way back in chapter one. I’m not saying that can’t land, but wowzers, you’re gonna have to do some miraculous amount of work at the eleventh hour to get me to give a s**t about Jeff. Y’know?
     
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  20. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Jedi Contrarian

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    Absolutely. That's the main crux of the issue involving Plagueis. Plagueis in a vacuum wouldn't inherently change anything about the ST, for better or for worse. But nothing exists in a vacuum when it comes to creative changes, so theoretically Plagueis being the Big Bad would ripple into other changes and retroactively let us look at the PT and OT with a little change in context.


    That could also work with Plaugeis, especially if Plagueis is Snoke. The idea of an older leader saying "let's get back to the good ol' days" and using that nostalgia to push impressionable youths who feel marginalized into a fanatical group is a great (and eerily uncomfortable for some) story. It's what the First Order sort of was. Plagueis doesn't need to change that.

    The key is to make it so that Jeff's origin doesn't really matter or that you need to care about, but what they do and what they know that matters. Plagueis having a past as a Sith and being a threat and knowing the Jedi and how to beat them is more important than him being Plagueis in particular.

    You're not wrong at all, but it also stripped the best part of Palpatine away. Palpatine's awesome because he's a great manipulator. His power as a Sith Lord is secondary compared to his ability to get people and even entire civilizations to do what he wants. Thanos has gotten similar complains. In Infinity War he's retrospective and even empathetic in some ways. In Endgame, we see a younger, more brutal, and far more straightforward person. It stripped away what many people liked about the character in order to get to who the character really is - a narcistic psychopath who wanted glory and the guise of "salvation." But when you take away that part people character about, people stop caring about the character.* It's why certain characters don't fully work when they change roles and/or allegiances. Felicity in Arrow worked as the cute, awkward, dorky hacker with a crush on Oliver and a thing for heroic men. But when she was promoted to love interest and main confidant, her role fell flat. Joey from Friends worked great in an ensemble, but couldn't really maintain being his own leading man. Palpatine was great when you saw the strings he was pulling and how he was manipulating people. The PT enhanced the OT with this regard.
    But you strip that away, and you get a generic Big Bad who feels like a caricature of his former self, even if this new version was always there. (We've also seen the whole Emperor of Embers thing with Project Cinder.)


    My personal theory on how it'd be was less about the "puppet master behind the puppet master" and more of the "you missed a spot" ala Maul. Have Plagueis be the Sith who survived the attack alluded to in ROTS, but then forsook the Sith ways after realizing the fundamental weaknesses. Weakened, he recovered between the PT and OT, and observing and learning. And then when the Empire fell, Plagueis swooped in and saved the remnants. They wanted a hero, some guidance, a Supreme Leader...and Plagueis is/was their savior.
    That doesn't have to be the only way, but I think it's the best way I can think of at the moment that respects the Chosen One prophecy, respects Palpatine's accomplishments and failures, and doesn't escalate things too much.
    But these changes would have needed to been implemented at or around TLJ, since I imagine the backstory of Plagueis (in regards to being a Sith and having regenerative powers) would play a role in defeating him. If that couldn't have been done, and we're talking just Episode 9, then I wouldn't introduce Plagueis at all. The only thing he'd allow is a change in arc for Rey, because now we don't have to have the whole "Rey Palpatine" reveal, so we can spend that time elsewhere. TLJ set up Ben as the Big Bad. I say let him play that role.



    *Endgame's response to this is basically that Thanos wasn't the focus of the movie, so his new personality doesn't truly matter. But many fans have felt differently.
     
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