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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 Prince of Bebers

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    Make the galaxy great again. And if they resist - storm the capitol.

    So, from the jump, we’d have ‘Supreme Leader Plagueis’ instead? Basically the same guy but with a different look and name?

    I’ll be honest. I never liked Snoke. He’s like if ‘Starkiller Base’ was a guy. A cheap and shameless knockoff of the original. I can comically imagine Oscar Isaac giving a briefing with a holographic visual aid “This was Emperor Palpatine . . . and this is Supreme Leader Snoke” <audible gasp from crowd> “oh my, so much taller and even MORE deformed . . . we’re doomed!”

    When TROS, up top, revealed that that’s literally what he was: an inferior copy of the Emperor, I thought it was hilarious and perfect.

    I was so glad when Kylo killed him off in TLJ. It asserted that whoever the heck this dingdong was, it didn’t matter. He was only ever an obstacle for a real character to overcome. He’s nothing but an averagely evil creeper who managed to worm his way to the throne, thought he was majesty incarnate, and was cut down to make way for someone else. He was just some loser with an overly inflated ego and not some unholy prince of darkness or whatever. I truly like that turn in the story.

    I suppose if they could have managed to make ‘Supreme Leader Plagueis’ more intrinsically distinctive than a bargain basement Sidious and dovetailed his existence into the generational family feud, I might be more amenable. I mean, it’s subtly hinted that he maybe created Anakin, yeah? So, there’s that I guess.
    As an odd sort of compromise, I do appreciate how the ‘rule of two’ was reframed in TROS. That the way of the Sith is for the teacher to manipulate their student into killing them so they can transfer their hateful spirit and cheat death. So, if Palpy was the apprentice from the story, then Plagueis really was the big bad . . . in a way. Of course that line from ROTS makes no sense now, “It's ironic. He could save others from death, but not himself.” But oh well.
    Definitely agree there. I get why Sidious is in the movie, but I don’t think he was necessary. I’d rather the central conflict have been strictly between the two leads, work that dynamic for all it had, and give the supporting cast time to shine.
     
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  2. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Jedi Contrarian

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    Ha! I was trying to err on the side of caution by not outright saying it, but glad you catch the drift.

    Snoke is Plagueis' new name. A new name for a new identity, not unlike how Sheev went to Sidious, Dooku to Tyrannus, or Anakin to Vader. The name in and of itself means very little, but it's symbolic of a change. (Maul, again, is an exception since he really never had an introduced name besides his Sith one.)

    That's fair. I understand and respect the idea of Snoke. Like most things in TFA, he was a reference or inversion of some aspect of the OT.

    Kylo was the Anti-Vader (hot-headed and emotion while Vader was cold and calculated; he destroyed equipment in rages but never actually harmed one of his own people outside of a Force Pull whereas Vader would kill men for their failures) and the Anti-Luke (according to JJ anyways. I guess I see it)

    Rey was an inversion of Luke. Where Luke wanted to leave his dusty desert planet and only stayed out of obligation, Rey wants to stay on Jakku and only leaves out of obligation. Where Luke wanted to learn about his family but had his uncle and aunt, Rey seemingly didn't need to learn about her family - she simply wanted their presence.

    Snoke was a reflection of Palpatine. Where Palpatine was Machiavellian and manipulative, Snoke was grandiose and in many ways straightforward. Where Palpatine seemed to know his plans and never had suggestions, Snoke is willing to change his strategy at the suggestion of his subordinates.


    That's part of JJ's M.O for Star Wars. Bigger, "badder" versions of the original but with minor changes.
    "We had the Death Star, and then the Death Star II, and NOW we have Starkiller Base! And NOW we have starships capable of the exact same thing!"
    "We had Palpatine, but NOW we have Snoke! And NOW we have Palpatine AGAIN!!"
    "We had had the Rebellion, but NOW we have the Resistance!"

    And I get it, time is cyclical - we're back in the '20s with a pandemic, I get it. But at the same time, it's within that parallel area where there's room to explore. TFA did this well by focusing on the new characters and highlight how they're different from their original counterparts. TROS...did not.

    I found the copy thing to be disappointing and insulting, if only because it felt like it degraded Kylo's victory over Snoke in the Throne Room. And I understand that it could be spun that killing Snoke was "completing Kylo's training" by Palpatine. But aren't the more interesting answers that either Snoke planned for his own death in order to secure an heir, or - as RJ probably intended - that Kylo simply betrayed Snoke and did what Vader couldn't in actually surviving and ruling an empire? That he broke the chains of the past, but is still suffering because he broke them incorrectly? Sure, Snoke, Palpatine, and Plagueis can't fix that, but at least one of those has the chance to be something different, while the other two are more of the same.


    Agreed. It was interesting and set up that people who don't want to be saved can't be saved. It was thematically appropriate while pushing the series into new places.

    I like it because it gives Snoke a nice backstory that fits into the grand picture of things, while also taking focus away from the Skywalkers as a bloodline. The Skywalkers don't need to defeat Snoke - a Jedi does. And it fits with the idea of Sidious ultimately being a failure, as all Sith are destined to be in time. Sidious failed to kill Plagueis, failed to turn Luke, and failed to defeat the Rebellion. It's a dark embodiment of "evil never triumphs," and we'd see that just because Plagueis isn't a Sith anymore, ultimately he's not free from that theme either.

    (And he didn't create Anakin - Anakin's birth was a reaction by the Force to the life-creating experiments that Plagueis and Palpatine were doing. It's like saying that a father who abandoned their child has a part to play in the child growing up to be a successful person.)


    I'm NOT a fan of this for the Sith. I understand it, but to me it feels like a cheat. Like Palpatine's own actions and victories aren't his own, but the product of the Sith within him. I'm also just not a fan of the Sith spirit stuff for the most part. Partial transfer, like memory and personality is fine, but whole spirits is where I'm out. I like the idea that the Sith are supposedly after eternal life because they don't have the Jedi ability to become one with the Force. It's the idea of spiritual immortality and enlightenment vs physical immortality and earthly power.

    I honestly didn't want Sidious in the movie or Rey to even face Kylo in Episode IX. She had beaten him multiple times already - physically at the end of TFA when he was weakened, morally at the end of TLJ when she woke up first and didn't kill him, and emotionally after that when she closed the door on their bond. There was nothing to mine from that relationship. Rey couldn't save Ben because Ben didn't want to be saved. But Ben wasn't stronger or better than Rey either. It was a complete arc, and a finished relationship. I wanted to see the parallels and mirrors between Kylo and other main characters.
    I wanted to see Kylo and Poe develop some sort of weird antagonistic rivalry due to their bonds with Leia. One is the prodigal son while the other his her chosen heir. I wanted to see Kylo's reverse arc of Finn play out. Kylo ran from the Light to the Dark. Finn ran from the Dark to the Light. Kylo knows his family but doesn't accept their relationship to them. Finn doesn't know his family but accepts that he probably never will. Kylo wants the lightsaber Finn and Rey used. Finn used Luke's lightsaber to defend Rey, and was the one Kylo screamed "TRAITOR" to. Let's build on that - was that scream one of condemnation, or a refusal to address is own hypocrisy?

    Ultimately, I wanted less of a dichotomy and more of a complex reflection with different characters and aspects.* But that's also because I never considered the ST something with just two leads. To me we always had multiple leads. It was always at least Rey, Finn, and Kylo, along with Poe, the OT characters, and whoever else was thrown in. Instead of starting at two, I saw the ST as reducing itself to just two.


    *I'm playing Mass Effect 2 currently, and I'm realizing that as much as I love the game, this doesn't do this part as well as it probably could have. I'd love to have seen Grunt and Miranda talk about the fact they were both genetically engineered for something, but found purpose of their own in different yet similar ways. Maybe have Grunt bring up how Miranda could have brought her father's empire to greater heights with her at the head, and then Miranda respond about that.
    The same is true for Shepard and Jacob. Both were military people who joined Cerberus. Maybe expound on those similarities (depending on Shepard's background) and then go into the differences of the character. (But this is just a part of the overall problem with how Bioware treated Jacob's character in post-ME2 content.)
    Maybe have Garrus and Samara talk about the justice and vengeance, and or Thane and Samara on religion and how that shapes their own actions.
     
  3. Martoto

    Martoto Rebel Official

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    The clone wars were definitely presented as the arena for the back story that Leia and Obi Wan is alluding to in that scene. Kenobi, Leia's father and Luke's father were all closely associated with each other during this period. which logically must cover the prior episodes ( we were explicitly promised this by Lucas).

    It's not the same as "Oh, um.... have you ever heard of the Clone Wars? You haven't? (sniggers) Well let me tell you....". Plagueis might as well be Santa, the Boogeyman or Chupacabra. A yarn spun to get naive/gullible people to behave in the way you want them to.

    Now if Snoke had been named Palgueis in VII and VIII AND Palpatine had revealed in IX that he was just a clone proxy, then that might have worked. Plagueis just being a decoy that Palpatine employs from time to time in the form of a tall tale to seduce a naive Jedi. Or sometimes an actual clone that can recruit and then be betrayed by the dark apprentice that's really being groomed for Palpatine but at not risk to him. That would have been a little interesting without the need to go any further. But it works without that too.
     
    #423 Martoto, Aug 6, 2021
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2021
  4. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Jedi Contrarian

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    And the Kessel Run and Parsecs? The stealing of the Death Star plans? The expansion (and now non-canonical romance of) Kit Fisto and Aalya Secura? Or Quinlan Vos's increased role in both Legends and Canon? All based off of one line or scene, or one mentioned event.

    We only know now that the Clone Wars were an arena for backstory because we got it. The same could have been said for Plagueis had we gotten him. The points of The Clone Wars references were for world-building, character clarification, and a shared connection; but it didn't mean that the story needed to be explored, even for a prequel. The prequels could have very well started after The Clone Wars and featured Obi-Wan trying to save Anakin/Vader, as alluded to when Obi-Wan said that Luke thought "just as I did," or maybe even with Obi-Wan and Yoda's training, when Obi-Wan asked if he was any different as an apprentice. (Man, we really need a database for all of Lucas' interviews, like the Coppermind...) Likewise, we didn't get Plagueis, and that's fine. But that doesn't mean just because he was mentioned once in the movies that he absolutely couldn't have shown up in the movies. The fix is simply to make the fact that he's Plagueis less important than the fact he was formerly a Sith and currently the Big Bad.
     
  5. Jedi Knight Fett

    Jedi Knight Fett Jedi General

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    People always complained in Legends how the empire stuck around in one form or another for like 100 years. I hope in canon we are done with any empire.
     
  6. cawatrooper

    cawatrooper Dungeon Master

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    Maybe I don't understand, but I'm not sure how not doing this would ever allow for a villain in Star Wars again, lol.

    And I think it's the show's job to make us care about the villain- seeing as it isn't out yet, I think it's pretty premature to think that Plagueis will be a nothingburger.
     
  7. eeprom

    eeprom Prince of Bebers

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    I’m genuinely confused by that statement. Can you elaborate?
    Maybe I’m super behind on things. Was there a Plagueis show announced and I missed it?
     
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  8. eeprom

    eeprom Prince of Bebers

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    Or Snoke was his real name and ‘Plagueis’ was his Sith moniker? I guess I’m not mad at that.
    Just seemed like tired ground to me. Does the evil fascist dictatorship really need to be led by another cackling old warlock with a dirty bathrobe and unfortunate skin who’s irrationally fond of poorly lit rooms? It’s not enough for Star Wars 2.0 to have an Empire 2.0 with a Darth Vader 2.0 and a Deathstar 2.0? Does it really need an Emperor 2.0 too? Can we not please challenge at least one of these conventions?
    Certainly for me. Especially when you factor Palpatine’s supposed end goal being to possess a darksider who would kill him in anger, but then orchestrated a surrogate scenario where that was guaranteed to not happen.
    This from the Plagueis novel? The . . . um . . . “Legends” novel?

    Just grasping at mental straws to force some imaginary investment in the character. If he was the progenitor of the ‘Skywalker bloodline’, then he could at least function as the embodiment of their tainted heritage and temptation toward the dark. Defeating him externally would be equivalent to defeating their own darkness internally. Conquering ‘original sin’ and all that. Just trying to play along with the premise.
    I can’t help it. I’m an outright sucker for literalizing metaphor in allegory. It’s a fairytale - a fable. The characters and their circumstances are representational and symbolic of real world abstract notions of morality. When a character, who personifies a particular concept, actually becomes that thing, I get such a nerd jolt.

    Hatred is a learned behavior. It’s cultural. It passes from one to another. And when it does - when it takes hold, your true self, the person you would otherwise have been, is smothered and lost. Yeah, Palpatine as people knew him, was a lie. He was just the name of a false facade that Sidious used to his advantage. To make that idea literal - mmm, chef’s kiss.
    Definitely not my read. They were adversaries, turned kindred spirits, who trusted one another and each respectively felt betrayed by the other. The next logical and emotional phase there is reconciliation. Brought together, broken apart, brought back together again. That’s a finished relationship.
    I love Oscar Isaac in the role, but I wish Poe had stayed dead in TFA and given his development to Finn. That tidies things up so much. Finn inherits Leia’s social crusade and resurrects the Rebellion. Rey inherits Luke’s spiritual crusade and resurrects the Jedi. They stand together in contrast to Kylo who represents the polar opposition to both. Poe becoming the heir apparent really mucks that up. But, oh well.
    I saw TFA as the Rey/Finn/Kylo show with special appearances by the senior class. TLJ tried to deepen that bench, but I feel like that was a misstep that resulted in the Rey/Kylo dynamic getting the lion’s share of the spotlight and everything else sort of falling away.

    Come TROS, stands to reason that would get the focus. Palps is used to bridge their divide with a common antagonist that challenges them in similar, but distinct ways. I don’t think he was needed. There was enough there between them already and his presence reduces the weight of that estrangement.
     
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  9. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Jedi Contrarian

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    The at the time canon and not-yet unconfirmed piece of lore. Again, the author of Plagueis also wrote Tarkin, and had multiple things carry over. Had it been someone else it would have been an Easter Egg or shoutout. The same author makes you think though. Besides that, there hasn't been anything to explicitly disconfirm what happened in the book was wrong either. Palpatine never explicitly said "we created life," and every idea of it - which has really only been explored in the Soule Vader comic run - has had the authors and people at Lucasfilm officially state that what happened was preying on Vader's fear, and is not to be taken as a confirmation that Plagueis and/or Palpatine created Vader.

    I'm a fan of it too, until it overtakes the characters as they've become. And not doing it well? That's even worse.

    To me, that would be the ideal and I can't really see any other ending that way unless they brought in another child for Leia or an actual child for Luke. But I also really didn't want that reconciliation. Not because it's catharsis, but I think that Star Wars can teach more than just the lessons it has taught in the past. Vader was saved because he wanted to be saved. Kylo isn't saved not for lack of effort, but because he doesn't want to be saved. The reality is that the two have opposing views and dichotomies - Ben wants Rey to join him and burn everything to the ground, no giving a hoot about good or bad. Rey wants Ben to join her in the Light and return to his family. Neither will give up and there can't be a compromise (unless they go REALLY OOC and have Leia and Co abandon their cause for their family.*)

    There's a powerful lesson in there about not burning yourself to keep someone else (who won't appreciate it) warm, and I think that's important, if not bittersweet to hear. Leia lost a son in Ben, but she gained a son in Poe and a daughter in Rey. Bittersweet.

    Hard disagree, since I love Poe, but I do understand the sentiment. I just think that in TLJ Finn and Poe's arcs needed to be switched. To me, Poe was carrying on Leia's legacy, Rey had Luke's, and Finn was free to choose his own destiny. And...then TROS happened...

    It's a flaw of Rian's writing that I'm not sure he's truly come over just yet. RJ really likes working in dichotomies. Everything has an angel and a devil on their shoulder, and their fate is tied with which character they deem more appropriate. This is easiest seen in TLJ, but it's present in Looper and I'm pretty sure in Knives Out as well.

    Rey has Luke and Kylo
    Kylo has Rey and Snoke
    Finn has Rose and DJ
    Poe has Holdo and Leia (only in his head; it's really Holdo and his own instincts)
    Luke has Rey and Kylo in a very weird way

    It's a binary, and it makes for a tight story, but it ignores all the facets and reflections in-between.

    There really was. The most likely reason Palpatine was brought back wasn't probably to tie everything together if we're being honest, because if Snoke had lived, I doubt they'd use Palpatine. It was to make sure that Kylo couldn't be the Big Bad so they could do a (cheap and not at all satisfying) redemption arc for the boy. Well also I guess to make sure that everything is like poetry and rhymes.

    Oh I don't disagree. But I think at least there was some semblance of "we're going off the predictable path with this one" in TFA, that was realized in TLJ, and thrown out in TROS. But again, it's JJ's M.O. - do what the original did, but punchier and with more pizzazz. Change enough to make it feel fresh, but keep enough to make it feel familiar. The fine line between nostalgia and exciting curiosity. But that trick really only works once per franchise...

    Your frustration is also why I don't like the ending of TROS either. There's NO indication that things will change in any way. The New Republic will effectively be the New New Republic. The remnants of the First/Final Order will be some other fascist group. The Wheel of Time turns I guess...

    I can see that. In a way, it does play out nicely. But I don't think that would quite work with the cast set up the way we have them either.



    *Which in-turn may feed into the idea of the the next generation carrying the mantle, and a positive way to retire the character. She's off with her family, spending her potentially final days in peace and surrounded by loved ones, assured that the galaxy is in good hands.
     
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  10. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    Yeah...

    I don't think I'm a very good Star Wars fan if this stuff is a measure of that.
    I read all these directions you guys cover, and I just couldn't care less about any of it (no offense by that).

    I think I'm just a movie lover who finds the art and craft of the Star Wars movies fascinating.
    The world of it is only interesting to me in so much as it serves a picture on a screen and a discussion in the mind.

    For me, the reason you make a choice is more interesting when it's because of a real world relationship - not a 'Star Wars' world one.

    Bespin is interesting to me because of its link to Hawkman's floating city and the Wizard of Oz's Emerald City smashed together and as well because of the metaphor created of neutrality attempting to be dissociated and above problems, not because of any lore related to it.

    The Empire and First Order are interesting because of their design and metaphorical representations as well.

    The observational documentarianism of the originals and studio era homage of the prequels are of fascination as artistic motives.

    The inversion of subtext and text in the stories is a pure marvel.

    Palpatine's symbolism is pretty much his only value to me - like Lex Luthor, Jafar, Ming, or Lucifer.

    I couldn't care one bit about the fictional universe's support for any of these things' existences, and I have never once wondered about some part of the universe because of what I have seen.

    Actually...you know...no. It's nothing to do with Star Wars.
    I have never once been that way about anything ever.
    I never cared where Lex Luthor came from, what the history of Mordor was, or what the East Witch of Oz was like.

    Zorro was only of value in so much as for what ideals he iconified.

    Fictional universe justification just does not factor into my concerns beyond its value as a metaphor and icon for real world concepts and ideas.

    Plagueis means virtually nothing to me beyond perhaps an incredibly thin metaphor of turning stories into weapons.

    This is by no means a negative judgement of anyone or the conversation. Just, reading along moreso pushed me to put my finger on why the tangent's concerns fall flat for me.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
    #430 Jayson, Aug 7, 2021
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2021
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  11. eeprom

    eeprom Prince of Bebers

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    I don’t mean to be glib since this seems to be significant to you, but I don’t really care at all about the varying degrees by which a book is or isn’t canonical. My view, and it seems to be similar to Lucasfilm’s view, is that the movies are written in pen while the books are written in pencil. If a filmmaker wants to tell a story, and it doesn’t wholly jive with what’s in some novel, then the movie wins.

    Again, I have zero interest in the Plagueis character as a secret archvillain of the series. I was only crafting a plausible scenario where I might theoretically invest as a lark.
    It would be a unique and mature message to impart I suppose. But this is a children’s fantasy series, produced by Disney, and targeted at twelve-year-olds. The moral to the story was never going to be ‘some wayward youths are simply lost causes and you can’t save ‘em all’. As much as lightsabers or the Force or wildly impractical masks, the idea of hope is an inalienable facet of this series. Hope is the enduring belief that things can, and will, be better. To persevere through the darkness knowing that good will prevail. You lose that and you lose Star Wars.
    I figured they decided to use him the same way he was used in ROTJ. The Emperor, in episode 6, operates as a physical manifestation of Luke and Anakin’s darksides. When Luke outwardly rejects his temptations toward anger he’s also rejecting his own inner darker temptations. When Anakin reclaims his since of self and casts out his inner darkness, he also physically picks up his “master” and casts him down. The Emperor works to bridge the divide between father and son. They’re in different stages of the same struggle with same man and that bonds them together.

    In TROS it’s pretty much the same utility. Sidious is positioned as an antagonistic force for both Kylo and Rey. He’s the shared impetuous behind their mutual suffering. He led Ben down the path of corruption and robbed Rey of her family. The commiserating nature of their relationship is given physical shape and a name. It becomes a real enemy that can be faced and defeated directly rather than conceptually and bonds them together.
    I probably wouldn’t find it so deflating if TLJ hadn’t made that the centerpiece of its thesis. Acknowledge failure. Accept it. Learn from it. And then . . . make a better choice. Any sort of hint at all that the students had come up with a better solution than their teachers, had grown beyond them, would have been fine. Otherwise, feels like they're well on track to just do the same thing over again.
     
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  12. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    ...That was kind of the point.

    Look around this world. Seems the point was "Crap still sucks, we keep screwing up the same way, but hang on to the light and don't give up...it might seem futile, pointless, since you know it won't stop, but don't stop. Alway hold on, and remind others to hold on as well."

    That's kind of the whole message of the ST.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  13. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Jedi Contrarian

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    I understand that, and I respect the levels of canon that Legends and now the Disney Canon have in place. But I am - or rather, I was - a canon junkie. I LOVE when things tie together overall and when they're done, you can see the big picture. I loved Luke, Han, and Leia meeting Aphra. I loved Mando and Baby Yoda meeting Ahsoka.* I loved the Ninth Sister showing up in both the Vader comics and Jedi: Fallen Order. This isn't unique to Star Wars either. I loved this in comics, books, other movie franchises...I love canon lore.
    I was one who was excited about the level of attention to Canon Disney touted. I was one who LOVED pouring over the comics and books and shows to see and hear about how it all played into the bigger picture. I loved the expanded scope, and how little things in one place tied into another. Or how sometimes they didn't and the world felt bigger as a consequence. Sure, everyone wanted to tell a story, be it the filmmaker, the comic-book writer, of the novelist. But the fun was seeing how they would all work together to make the story fit the larger narrative.
    That also meant that I was one who was burnt out by the constant red herrings and misdirects; I was one who felt let down when the answers couldn't live up to the questions asked. I guess it boils down to the idea of rewards. The point of all of those stories and whatnot for fans is more than just the story, but to also make fans feel like they're being rewarded when those small connections pay off. Plagueis would have been the ultimate connection - the ultimate way of saying "thank you for paying attention, here's something for you." It wouldn't have to be much, or even stated in the movie proper, but it could have been there.

    And again, that's fine. I don't think he should be brought back in any capacity at this point. His time has come and gone.

    I disagree here. Star Wars is a fantasy series for all ages, not just children and not just adults. That means that you can have more mature themes that don't patronize kids, so long as you handle it well. The perfect example of this is Avatar: The Last Airbender. It was a show that says it's for ages 9-12 or something like that, but I've known kids as young as seven to adults in their sixties find joy in the series. Not because it dumbs things down, but because it addresses hard questions. War, genocide, child abuse and parental abandonment, pressure, racism, atonement, and so many other things are addressed in this show in a mature-yet-appropriate way that never feels like it's dumbing things down. The same is true for other shows, like Static Shock (racism, homelessness, parental death, gang violence, and gun violence), Filmore! (stealing, bullying, and standardized testing), or My Hero Academia (bullying, mental, physical, and emotiona abuse, and trying to do everything by yourself).
    The message of "try to save who you can, but you can't save those who don't want to be saved" is an important lesson as well. And there can be hope in it as well. Rey could add onto that if she says "I'll be here if you're ever ready," leaving the ball in Kylo's hand. In terms of hope, it comes from the idea of lost and found. There is sorrow lost in the family member that couldn't be saved, but there is hope, love, and newfound happiness in the family that has been forged from this. It's bittersweet, and I think that's an important area for Star Wars to work in.
    In my mind, saying "Star Wars is for kids" is ultimately just as harmful as saying "Star Wars is for adults." Both try to exclude the other and justify why they will or won't have certain things in them.

    (Other lessons Star Wars can and probably should go in-depth with teaching when they have the time:
    false guilt and knowing when to accept responsibility for your own actions;
    learning how to move on after doing something bad, and becoming a better person - learning to how love yourself again;
    learning how to live with someone NOT liking you, for either your own actions or something you can't help;
    learning when and where to let dreams go.)

    That's an interesting - and pretty gracious if you ask me - way of looking at it! I'll have to revisit that way of thinking for the movie in the future. I still don't like that he's in the movie in order to fulfill this role, as it forces his presence in the life of Rey, who didn't really need this (nor did it do anything for her character).

    Agreed.

    But the problem is that in TLJ brought in the idea of moving beyond the cycle, from learning from it. TROS brought that cycle back, when it felt like up to that point the series was going to break it. And then TROS did nothing to acknowledge how the future was going to change in any major capacity.


    I like that, I truly do. And I feel similarly about many superheroes, if only because I view them as our modern day mythology. What stories do we tell about ourselves in the form of these heroes, how they look, and how we describe them? The battles we're currently facing in society can be seen in the types of enemies the villains these heroes go up against (especially when the villains have a different interpretation from their mainstream or original version).** But that's just a starting point - the characters are allowed to live, learn, and grow. Because ultimately characters should be more than the thing they represent.*** These stories are more than just allegories. Spider-Man may be representative of the "every man," (which may be why he lends himself to vastly different reinterpretations in the films than many other characters - see Implicitly Pretentious' video essays on both Peter Parker and Miles Morales), but he's never truly beholden to it. Peter's been a genius, a ninja, a villain, a mutant, and so many other things. He's more than the idea of "with great power comes great responsibility."

    Star Wars is different for me. I look at the characters, the choices, and the overall story. I look at the world, not just the message and themes, and see something that can grow, evolve, and change.

    To poorly compare things, I feel like you're more on the C.S. Lewis side of allegories, whereas I'm leaning towards Tolkien.

    @Jayson would Plagueis' return have worked for you if he had some sort of theme within his character? Like, what if he was someone who would rather kill the universe than die himself, contrasting the Jedi's willingness to give their lives for the sake of others? A simple theme, true, but would it work for you?


    *Finally a good example of how I wanted Plagueis integrated, either as Snoke or just in his own right! If he was to be integrated of course. Ahsoka comes into the Mandalorian and is labeled a Jedi. That's all Mando knows about her, and that's all he needs to know. Meanwhile, fans of TCW and Rebels know a LOT more - from her journey through the WBW, to the fact she's technically not a Jedi (something that she never claims to be, only that those around her call her), or her own history with Bo Katan and the Mandalorian people. This information enhances the experience, but it isn't necessary. That's what I want(ed) from Plagueis. Viewers don't need to know his backstory or past in great detail to connect or recognize the importance/value of the character in the current story, but for those who do know those things, they feel rewarded.
    **Look at The Dark Knight, Captain America: Winter Soldier, and Harley Quinn & the Birds of Prey movies for the clearest examples.
    ***Or, you know, at least find themselves at odds with what their representation is at any given age and time. Batman v Superman and Captain America: Winter Soldier actually did a solid job of addressing this point. Both characters represent (American) goodness and virtue. But in a world that doesn't see things in a strict dichotomy of good and evil - in a world where the four axes seem to be order/control and chaos/free will - things aren't as simple.
     
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  14. eeprom

    eeprom Prince of Bebers

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    I’d say that’s roughly reflective of the first and third installments, yeah, but decidedly antithetical to the message of the second - which is what I was speaking to.
    I didn’t mean that as an exclusionary statement. I’m a 40 year old man who still loves Star Wars. It can be enjoyed, appreciated, and felt by all ages. But with respect to what audience it’s truly intended for, it’s children. Specifically children on the cusp of approaching adulthood who would benefit the most from a parable endorsing ethical themes of tolerance and compassion. That’s who George was trying to reach. That's who was going to shape the future.

    The importance is that a young person might see the Kylo Ren character, someone guilty of horrible actions and incapable of recognizing even the possibility of redemption, identify with him in some way or other, and see that no one is ever - ever ever ever - too far gone to turn back. If some impressionable youth sees that and, even at an unconscious level, makes that connection and keeps that idea with them, then that’s enormously valuable. It’s a lesson we’ve seen before, but it’s one that forms the very heart of the series and so bears repeating . . . well, I think so anyways :)
     
    #434 eeprom, Aug 7, 2021
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  15. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    Not to me. Maybe that's the message others got. I remember everyone going off on that idea back when TLJ first happened, but I repeatedly said those takes were highly unlikely to be what was on the table by any standard (heck, it wasn't even the spin regardless of which 9th we got).
    When asked, I even outlined what I thought was likely the next variation and it was approximately along the lines of what did end up happening.

    And that's because I'm looking at the long-view of the Skywalker saga cyclical theme tangent, and there was nothing in that which suggested that we would just knee jerk to the left and dump the cycle for a whole new approach. The surpassing of anything wouldn't happen by overcoming, but through equivalence, and the idea of Ben going all "Big Bad" as folks like to call it, just never entered into it because that doesn't allow him the room by the theme cycle to bounce to redemption.

    It's an incredibly flat fall if the redemption happens and there's no one there left to struggle against - no representation of evil as an essence. Ben could never be the symbol of evil as an essence. Ever. We were far too invested in him as a real tangible person we cared about. That just isn't how these films work as an art. That's not their language.

    TLJ didn't say that we were going to surpass the cycle. It showed everyone who was a staple of going and getting it, the champions of sticking with it regardless - they all doubted Jesus - their roosters crowed three times. And it was them who had to rediscover the motive to stay the course. And they did it by rebuke of their loss by others.

    Luke, for example, needed to be so crass and gone because the entire point was how even the brightest of shining knights of hope can lose their lust for endeavoring for good - can find the endeavor pointless. And it is a foundering lost Rey, who has no faith in herself, who pushes him to find the motive to see the point once again - and it is by that denial of doing it for her that she buckles up, swallows hard, and goes for it herself.

    Everyone learns in TLJ.

    TROS doesn't undo or negate any of that learning. TROS challenges it. I've said it before, it's a classic set up: Hero sets out in Act 1, learns hard lessons that teach them who they truly are as a personal identity morally in Act 2, and then in Act 3 they face a terrible great dragon that challenges the convictions they just gained in Act 2 - usually some sort of deeply wounding self-doubt that knocks down their previously earned self assuredness.

    We're lost without our past to tell us who we are: We discover we can live without the past and still define our own worth: We face our past and must defy it with who we have decided to be.

    We have lost the hope we had: We find hope that will not be our hope, and find we must be our own: We find the true terror in not only being our own hope, but the hope for countless others - whom we may very well corrupt in our efforts.

    So, no...I don't see TLJ as having gone some route that TROS didn't follow - at all. It pretty much went right about where I expected it to go, and where TLJ whispered ideas of for me.

    Not to me, no. That's a drama. Cool. Not interesting to me. I have no interest in a fictional biopic drama.

    Having metaphorical themes is good, yes, but what you outlined - no. It doesn't at all fit within the cyclical theme set that's in the trilogy of trilogies.
    That idea of a guy hell bent on utter destruction over self destruction isn't a complementary narrative to the thematic primary arc messages of the previous two trilogies main thrusts of cyclical struggles against the stains of evil.

    That's bringing in another tangent rather than the same tangent. The evil of the Skywalker saga is a litmus test - it's not a thing of its own accord that should be of focus unto its own narrative point. It's whole point is to be the thing that others have to bounce against - the Lucifer who tempts Jesus. The Satan who tempts Job.

    It doesn't work to have Plagueis show up and want everything in the universe dead because that's not attractive to anyone in the story. Not even Kylo wants that.
    He wants absolute control to stop the world from being chaotic and painful.
    He is the opposite behavioral reaction to chaos and pain as Rey - she wants to find belonging, he wants to make it.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  16. eeprom

    eeprom Prince of Bebers

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    Episode 7 had extraordinary weight placed on it as the vehicle to rekindle general Star Wars interest. It set out to do this by reengaging with the audience using familiar conceits and traditions. Its goal was to replicate that feeling and verve of the original and reproduce it for both an existing and new to the property public. That air of reiteration and cyclicity, premeditated in its material construction, was also expressed in its narrative construction and even became a central motif. So much so as to become blatant dialogue.

    “The only fight. Against the dark side. Through the ages I've seen evil take many forms. The Sith. The Empire. Today, it is the First Order.”

    ‘The Force Awakens’ frames the current binding conflict of the sequel era as only one iteration of countless others. It’s happened before. It’s happening now. It will happen again. “That lightsaber was Luke's. And his father's before him. And now, it calls to you.” The repetition of incident then is fully justified, because the circumstances are cyclical. The fate of the galaxy is a cosmic pendulum swing in dominance between positive and negative positions on a spectrum. From light to dark to light to dark to light again and then back to dark, ad infinitum.

    ‘The Last Jedi’ was Rian Johnson’s direct reaction to both the material and narrative cyclicity of TFA. At every turn the film is making deliberate effort to invoke every trope, convention and tradition of the brand and intentionally tweak them. To present the audience with the stock familiar staples, but purposely stage them in unexpected or irreverent ways. The movie, in its composure, is challenging the audience on the basis of convention and tradition to provoke us to consider how rote these patterns can be, but don’t have to be.

    And that metatextual objective, just like TFA, is front and center in the text of the story as well. The philosophical debate that occupies the main strife between Rey and Luke and Kylo is on the grounds of whether or not a tradition, identified as critical to that cyclicity, should be continued or eliminated. “It's time for the Jedi to end.” “It's time to let old things die.”

    Luke’s impetus for seclusion is to remove himself from the landscape. To not engage in that cycle of madness and so not perpetuate it. Without him and without the Jedi, perhaps that equilibrium will sort itself out in a different and better way. Luke, of course, is entirely wrong in his reasoning, but not in his intent. And that’s the culmination of Johnson’s thesis. It IS time for the Jedi to end. That is: the old Jedi.

    Convention and tradition themselves are not innately negative. Overreliance on them though is. Just doing the same thing over and over again is. You have to grow. You have to evolve. You have to go new places. You can’t stagnate and atrophy. Take the germ of the idea. Strip away everything but the core of what makes it connect and craft it into something new.

    That’s what Yoda’s lecture to Luke and then Luke’s lecture to Kylo is all about. It isn’t some bleak resignation to the inevitable. To willingly restart the loop all over again. It’s about trusting your successors to pick up the pieces where you left them and move them forward. To take them somewhere new. To defy what’s been set before and forge their own path.

    And that’s the implicit challenge Johnson issued to whichever filmmaker would follow after him. And with ‘The Rise of Skywalker’, I don’t feel like JJ answered in kind. In my observation, I didn’t see a reinterpretation or reinvention of the conventions. There’s no reexamining of any of the institutions or traditions with how they could change or evolve beyond base. Seemed to me it was back to endorsing the status quo and RJ’s deviation is now just weirdly aberrant.

    If you don’t see what I see, then that’s perfectly understandable. I’m simply articulating my perspective and not attempting to sway anyone’s opinion.
     
  17. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    I completely disagree with your metareading of Johnson's motives.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  18. eeprom

    eeprom Prince of Bebers

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    And you're entitled to.
     
  19. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    To be clear: my reason for that is because of what Johnson talks about. He has talked at ridiculous length over his motives.

    They remind me a lot of Lucas. He was doing a deconstruction of Star Wars, to splay it open, to find what it was at its heart in so doing.

    Any assertion given by Star Wars before him, he countered, flipped, engrossed, and let it hang naked in the wind.

    It wasn't to undo the cyclical thematic nature of the Skywalker saga.

    If it were, he sure as heck wouldn't bother with the entire Kylo/Luke - Luke/Vader symmetry.
    Heck, his film refrains 4 prior films all in one go.

    I wrote a whole big long rundown of how mind blowing it is back when everyone was all screaming bloody murder over the movie.

    He definitely did not do TLJ to slap JJ for doing TFA the way he did, nor was he trying to make it impossible to make something like TROS (which he said he had a blast watching, btw...and he doesn't blow smoke up your arse).

    His goal was to deconstruct Star Wars while carrying the story forward to a point that was the deepest challenge he could think of for every character in the story.

    That's pretty much the core of everything I've seen him say.

    He's straight up not against the cyclical theme. It's dripping from every pour of his movie, and his way of answering to the Star Wars middle act mirror format was jaw dropping.

    In terms of theme, he has repeatedly talked about self-reliance. He became really interested in what Star Wars had to say on that when you explore everything, and it was exactly genius to do.

    But it wasn't a dead nail to ever doing anything more cyclically, or in terms of needing to continue to fight the same kinds of evils.

    Self reliance was a growth, and you still need that growth to be battle tested. It doesn't get to just waltz out all done like the end of Breakfast Club.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
    #439 Jayson, Aug 8, 2021
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  20. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Jedi Contrarian

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    I don't disagree with identifying with Kylo, but the other lessons attached are also important. What about the young girl who is trying so hard to save someone who keeps constantly hurting and disappointing her? When will Star Wars tell her "enough is enough. You can't set yourself on fire to keep someone else warm." When will Star Wars tell her that she needs to be in an emotionally healthy and secure place before she can truly help someone else reach that goal?
    When will Star Wars tell that kid who relates to Kylo Ren that "congrats! You've changed your ways - but that doesn't mean everyone will forgive you or that you're even entitled to that forgiveness." Those are important and frankly valuable lessons for the ones you deem Star Wars for. Cinderella doesn't forgive her step-family after becoming a princess, nor does she try to save them from their fates out of love or hope of redemption. Snow White doesn't forgive her evil step-mother either.

    Children - the children you believe this is for - are increasingly having to deal with more and more complicated things. Anxiety, depression, and existential crises are things parents now have to deal with at an increasingly younger age. Why NOT address some tougher themes in the mediums they consume either? Why water down the theme to the tried and trope "one big action means redemption" theme, just because that's how it's always been?

    Gotcha, gotcha. I don't think it would fit with the cyclical theme, as Plagueis would change the overall theme and meaning. It wouldn't be cyclical anymore, true. But I don't think the cyclical nature as a positive repeating pattern was set in stone until TROS. Plagueis being involved in TROS would have changed that theme overall.

    But I think it would be pretty interesting:
    Paplatine, one who is obsessed with UNLIMITED POWER, prefers manipulation and subtlety to outright conquest. (Sidious is indeed insidious though.)
    Vader and Tyrannus, ones who look like and have Sith names related to authority (father and tyranny respectively), are nothing more than apprentices and play second-fiddle.
    Maul is ultimately always beaten in all aspects.
    And Plagueis, the one named after a thing that shortens lifespans, is obsessed with extending his own life - a reflection on our human nature of extending life and uncertainty with the unknown, but ultimately crossing a line into the immoral in order to do it.

    Whereas Palpatine thought himself above reproach and betrayal - hubris - Plagueis would be deathly afraid of it, to the point of not trusting anyone. He uses holograms because he doesn't want to meet in person. His ship is on the move and is fully autonomous so it can't be destroyed like Alderaan was. He has guards not because of the status symbol or because he actually needs them, but to distract whoever may come for his life. Palpatine would have been the embodiment of Lust in a way, Maul of Rage, Vader of Sloth (in the sense he doesn't do anything to change his situation, despite wanting to*), Tyrannus of Pride**, Kylo more of Fear (not a Deadly Sin, but something I think he embodies), and Plagueis of Envy.***


    But that's the theme itself. Not everyone can be redeemed because not everyone WANTS to be redeemed. It's a tragedy. But then it's tempered with the comedy (in the classical sense) with the theme of found family.
    Rey may not have been able to save Ben, but her meeting of Finn saved him. Leia may not have been able to save Ben and lost her son, but she gained a new son in Poe and a new daughter in Rey. The essence of evil is found in Ben, in the tragedy and parable about how we treat those we love, because our actions may hurt them. The lesson is that the monsters we fight are sometimes the ones we make, that our legacy isn't always what we want it to be. But at the same time, those hurt are still accountable for their own actions when offered a chance to change. It's a bittersweet catharsis and inversion of Vader's ending. Vader went to the light at the end, redeemed in the eyes of his son. But Kylo, despite being the Supreme Leader and effectively wiping out the Jedi - even after finishing what Vader started - would die on the Dark Side. It's a balance. A bittersweet balance, but balance nonetheless. It adds nuance and new context to the idea of redemption in that it can be attained, but you have to want it and take it when it's offered. It's not about whether or not redemption can be attained, but whether or not someone wants it.
    I think that's an ultimately liberating theming right there. It holds each person accountable for their own actions, as they aren't beholden by the past. It shaped them, but it doesn't define them.

    It could also have been a really powerful moment if we could have gotten parallel scenes with Leia forgiving the ghost of Anakin while Rey forgives Kylo as he dies, giving him peace despite his lack of redemption. (Not unlike Obi-Wan and Maul's final scenes.)

    PT - Redemption is needed.
    OT - Redemption is offered and taken.
    ST - Redemption is offered and not taken.




    *Despair would also work, but apparently Despair and Sloth can be folded into one in Catholicism.
    **Palpatine really fits Pride as well, as outlined above. But his lust for power is his most notable and driving trait
    ***Gluttony would work too, but Plagueis wouldn't be using life in excess...although considering Snoke's lifestyle...
     
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