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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. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Jedi Contrarian

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    Hey, I'm only using your present definitions to prove the point.

    No, it isn't. Old-school Lucasfilm had a rating system of what was canon:
    Movies & Lucas-involved projects
    Television shows
    Games & other properties
    Everything else in a specific order.

    Disney threw that out the window in 2014, and now tries to incorporate most everything into canon. There are some obvious exceptions like the Lego movies and shows, and some of the kid books; but any game, movie, television show, comic, or book that comes out that's not in that exception case (and it's clearly obvious what is), is 100% considered canon until a movie comes out that contradicts this. Nothing has contradicted Plagueis as of yet. Heck, every mention has bolstered his existence.

    If you want a quick and dirty timeline of what's canon for books, open a new book that's not labeled Legends that has come out in the past year or so. Look at the front, and it'll tell you what books are considered "canon," and in one order. Granted, this somewhat depends on the chronology of the book and the publishing company, as some canon books aren't always included. (I.e. Lost Stars by the same author is listed on the author's works page, but not the Star Wars works page.) But I'm looking at Master & Apprentice right now, and Tarkin is there, right under ROTS. It's canon.


    Now yes, you're right in that movies hold top priority.
    But guess what? Plagueis was mentioned there too. The Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise was most definitely heard in ROTS. Now was it seen? Not really, but seeing doesn't mean that it's 100% true. We saw three different points of view for one instant in TLJ. We heard three different stories about that same event. One of them may be true, or all of them, depending on your perspective. One of them may be wrong, or all of them, depending on your perspective.

    And hey, Hyperspace Tracking was mentioned by one person (Jyn), not pre-acknowledged or pre-known by anyone else, and still showed up as a pivotal plot point in a later movie (TLJ). What was really stopping Lucasfilm from pulling the same trick with Plagueis?

    I'm not asking you to like this, nor am I asking you to believe that it would have made TROS better (because even I doubt that), but I DO think it was logical to theorize, and that Plagueis fits pre-established patterns within Lucasfilm's creative history.
     
  2. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    Huh. Great ending to me. Sorry that didn't work for you.

    It was the one I wrote ahead of time to @Angelman as being where the narrative logic wanted to go, but I really didn't think they would have the balls to go there because it requires killing both characters. They one upped me on that by doing a Romeo and Juliet variation upon their deaths, which I hadn't expected.

    So I was beaming at that point because that ending is perfect for the ontological symbolic narrative of all 9 movies and they had the balls to go for it.

    No. Sorry. It doesn't work that way.
    That's how it works when you answer to no one.
    That's not how it works in a franchise story that gets written by community.

    There are certain demands upon these kinds of movies which they must form to regardless.
    Ignoring that fact is why people get fired - sorry, let go.

    You are trying to tell the best story within the confines you are given because it's a business. You aren't writing fanfic.

    I also disagree with you aesthetically.
    I far more admire a writer who finds a way to write the story within the confines they have set up instead of not setting up confines, or just breaking them when they can't make it work.

    Lucas, for instance, is one such writer of this kind. Roddenberry is another.
    I admire both greatly. They both drove writers up the wall with their impossible rules and confinements. Screaming matches roared.
    Both stuck to their demands.

    We got very good stuff out of it.

    Same with BTTF. If they just told any old story wherever it wanted to go, you wouldn't have the 3 films we have - at the very least the additional 2 would not exist.

    I really don't know what you're talking about.

    TROS doesn't end where anything began.
    It ends where all of the trilogies end - in a moral throw down between good and evil as a choice to be good or evil is being made.

    As to your points on chiasm.
    Symmetrical parallelism isn't chiasm.
    Chiasm is on of several paralellisms.

    JFKs speech about what you can do for your country is chiasm.

    Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven is not.

    It's not a matter of thematic reprisal, or poetic symmetry.

    It's about, for example, starting the PT with two Jedi because the last trilogy started with two droids.

    It's about the final moral battle being split into two pairs instead one trio so that a connection for redemption could not be present - Palps could not be there to hurt Obi to cause Ani to second guess his choices out of not liking seeing his friend hurt.

    It's about an incomplete Death Star instead of a complete one. It's going inside of it to fight the end instead of fighting outside at a distance.

    It's the loss of a Mother instead of an Uncle and Aunt.

    It's that when first hanging upside down nearly dead, the call beckons the weapon, while the second time hanging upside down nearly dead, the call beckons friends.

    It's Jesus being born unknown to nearly anyone but herolded by people who don't know him, and are not from his people who traveled just to pay homage, and then dying very publically, hated by all of his people and only morned by those whom his people also rejected after he travels under great strain wearing a mock crown and herold of that which was said of him at his birth's homage.

    It literally requires going back through the same event position in an inverted or reversed manner.

    It's an old style of poetic justice we, for the most part, have left behind and have no need for as it doesn't fit very well into a 3 Act structure well.

    Our symmetries now are poetic justices. Clever momentary opposites of character growths. Not narrative inversions the character exists within.

    Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.

    Chiastic reasoning has a canceling circularity to itself. It's not simply symmetrical or parallel.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  3. Embo and His Pet Anooba

    Embo and His Pet Anooba Force Attuned

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    george lucas says cw is canon.
     
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  4. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Jedi Contrarian

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    TROS ends with a Skywalker on Tatooine, on the planet where the series fundamentally began. It ends recreating the first* and easily most iconic scene in the entire franchise. This was chosen because of it's impact and (attempted) resonance.** If that's not ending where it began, I don't know what is.


    Miles Morales in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse still fits all of that. It also includes expanding and reprising the character's core message while feeling different.
    Terry McGinnis still fits all of that.
    Heck, even My Hero Academia is doing that. The battle to save someone's soul takes place at the same place a previous iconic battle to save someone was, using the same techniques, with echoing results. They're using the idea of reaching out to the one who always reached out - trying to save the savior, sort of.


    Above silence, the illuminating storms—dying storms—illuminate the silence above.
    - The Way of Kings
    , Brandon Sanderson

    I get chiastic structures, parallels, and inversions. I've planned whole stories and character arcs using all three.*** I get the refrains, the echoes, the symbolism. I just don't think that Star Wars is wholly unique it's inclusion of them, nor are they wholly right to be beholden to them.



    *YMMV on whether or not this is the first, or the Star Destroyer chasing the Rebel ship is the first. Both are incredibly impactful, and it varies from person to person.

    **The problem isn't the planet, but the desire for symbolism for its own sake. Symbolism without a meaningful reason in-world or meaningful context is pointless and does more harm than good. A "Jesus shot" of a character who hasn't sacrificed anything or isn't being persecuted isn't symbolic at all. That's why Rey's moment on Tatooine doesn't work. It doesn't line up with the characters, the world, or Rey herself. It's purely for fans, and because of that, it's doesn't resonate. Chiastic structure for the sake of chiastic structure doesn't work because it doesn't resonate with the characters. It puts the framing of the story above the story itself, treating the framing as the most important part. It's not resonant. If Rey had a moment to express what the planet meant to her, outside of the Skywalker lineage (or maybe because of it), then it may have hit differently.
    Although...wouldn't a more chiastic ending support the idea of Rey going back to a party, like how episodes 1, 4, and 6 ended, as opposed to the looking into the sunset of Episode 3?



    ***I had some examples here, but the formatting messed it up. Sorry.

    EDIT: HOWEVER, my revision of the ST does center around some chiastic structure, echoing and thematically resonant moments, and ultimately ending "at the beginning."
    It's official start is with two Rebels, echoing the two Jedi in TPM (and the two droids in ANH), goes through a sort of pilgrimage of places in the OT and PT, giving them new context and exploration for our ST characters, and ends in the same spot of Rey on Tatooine. But the why, how, and what are all different.

    Humorously enough, we've talked about that before, but we came up with different perspectives on where the beginning is, how that should play into the chiastic structure, and how to end the series because of it.
     
    #464 Use the Falchion, Aug 16, 2021
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2021
  5. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    That's not where Star Wars begins.
    Star Wars begins in space with two ships chasing each other.

    Skywalker's homestead's first scene is literally 16 scenes (16 minutes) into the movie, and his whole binary sunset bit is 19 scenes (25 minutes) into the movie.

    The entire reason that you have the final throw down being a whole fleet of planet destroying Star Destroyers is because the first scene of Star Wars is a Star Destroyer, and the whole reason the final throw down in ANH is a Death Star is because the film started with a Star Destroyer, and the whole reason you end up with the Death Star again in ROTJ at the end is because it was originally supposed to be a whole fleet of Death Stars - which TROS revisted the idea of now that technical limitations weren't a problem in that...it's why the fleet of Star Destroyers can destroy planets.

    The ending of Star Wars is a celebration that is a coda. Same with ROTJ.
    ESB is a mirror image of itself and snaps into place to both films regardless which of way you go - you can run the film backwards and it's the same movie forwards inverted.
    ANH has to wait for ROTJ to completely invert everything in a chiastic fashion.

    The whole bit with the Skywalker send off isn't just that it's a nice symbol for the franchise as fans.
    It's also because it's where these end - with a coda ceremony of some fashion.
    In this case, it followed ROTJ's more somber, but sweet, coda of sending off Anakin in a funeral rite.

    I fundamentally disagree with you.
    If there's one way they could have made the ST to where I would walk right out, it would be that they didn't follow that extremely important soul of the saga.

    It is the most fundamentally important part because without it, all of the ontological points fall apart and become just, "neat stories".
    They become John Carter, or Dune. A good science fantasy movie. And that's pretty much it.

    The whole reason I could draw this map up before the ST finished....
    star wars chiastic map.PNG

    ...is because it RIGIDLY follows this narrative form of expression and language.

    All of the fairy tale ontology goes right out the door and it becomes all the EU material I don't care about because they're not fairy tale movies.

    I'm quite happy the folks who worked on ST don't share your view, because from the sounds of it, had you written the ST, I would have walked out (no offense).
    I wouldn't have liked just "following the story", and the notions I've seen you discuss (granted, not very deeply) have almost entirely not interested me at all.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
    #465 Jayson, Aug 16, 2021
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2021
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  6. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Jedi Contrarian

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    That's why I added the asterisk. I know it's not the first scene. But it is the single most iconic one. That's what TROS was trying to echo. They weren't going first to last, but trying to replicate an iconic feeling to end on, and it feel flat.

    Or, you know, escalation, which is what JJ is known for. You've already had one Death Star. Then you did a bigger one. Then you did a BIGGER one that could destroy multiple planets at once! And now, you can't make it any bigger, so you just make more, smaller ones. It's serial escalation at it's worse.

    To bring technicality back into this (hey, you did it first!), ROTJ technically ends at the party. The last thing we see are the smiling faces of those enjoying the party. Multiple people in celebration, like ANH, ROTJ, and TPM. TROS tried to replicate the final emotions, like the bonfire, not the final moments. And it failed.

    None taken here. I hope that you won't take offense when I say that because of TROS, I can't look forward to Star Wars marathons anymore because I know what's waiting at the end; and if Star Wars continues with more things stuck in a familiar and poorly executed pattern with rote themes, I'd drop the movies in a heartbeat. TROS didn't ruin my childhood by any stretch of the means, but it did put a damper on my excitement for the franchise.

    Some taken here. I can go deeper if you'd like. But the question is about what? Why TROS didn't work out for me? I've discussed that a dozen times. What my revision of the ST would look like? I've shown a rough version of it; but if you'd like the updated version, I'd be happy to share it. Or would you rather see my version of the ST? Sadly, I'm still working on that one, as my strengths line more in refining ideas (which is why I've been called a very helpful person to my writer friends, as they find me a good sounding board who comes up with a solid odd pearl) rather than coming up with them wholesale. But I do have parts of ideas I'm still working out.
    My thoughts here aren't focused on "following the story," but rather showing alternate paths the story could have been taken. There was no "100% predetermined route," and that room for alternative gives way to different stories, meanings, and themes.

    @Jayson I'm not sure if I've said it before, but if so I'll say it again - despite, or rather because, of how diametrically opposed we are when it comes to Star Wars, you are the person I'd most love to work on a Star Wars project with. What we create could range from either pleasing both of us to one of us to neither of us, and that would be completely separate from it's quality. It'd be super fun to see the outcome.
     
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  7. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    It didn't feel flat to me. I was smiling.

    Even if that had been true, I would have been fine with it, but it's not.

    It's exactly the same motives behind Palps' throne, which was pulled from the original drafts done for ROTJ which had Palps under ground in that exact throne surrounded by lava rather than up in one of the several Death Stars.

    The amount of rebirthed material from the dead ashes of past attempts is truly beautiful.

    We have that in TROS. It's just exactly flipped of the same set up as ROTJ. Specifically the updated ending.

    In ROTJ, Luke does the funeral rite, We tour the galaxy through fireworks, everyone except Luke dances and cheers, he joins them, at the last moment he turns and looks at the ghost trio. End.

    In TROS, we tour the galaxy in Star Destroyers exploding, everyone cheers including Rey at first, then she leaves them, does the funeral rite, and turns to look at the ghost duo. And then the dual sunset homage. End.

    It won't. That was just this saga. Solo didn't. Rogue One didn't. Mando didn't.
    No one wants to do it because it's too hard.

    Also, it's not simply rote themes.
    It is literally the primary method of articulating its point. It literally would not say the same thing without sticking to this pattern.

    Even Lucas' version of the ST was going to do it.

    Removing that from the saga is to take out the very heartbeat the ontology speaks through.
    See my post to Eeprom if you want details on how so.

    That is to what I referred to.

    I've gathered a gist of types of concepts, but specifically, this throwing out of the narrative form is a straight no starter for me.

    It's like throwing out Roddenberry's rule about no one having interpersonal fights with each other as the narrative plotline motivations of Star Trek. As soon as you throw that out, it's no longer Star Trek. It's some other thing that looks like Star Trek but has an entirely different soul.

    Same with Star Wars and its cyclical form.
    Throw that out, it's no longer Star Wars. It's some other thing that looks like Star Wars but has an entirely different soul.

    The artform, in both cases, has fundamentally changed with the removal of that one element.

    I have absolutely no interest in spending time recreating Star Wars stories. I gave a treatment of a new idea as a game. That was as far as I'll ever go unless I'm hired to work on it.

    I have no time to spend on fan writing at this point. I have consultations and screenplay deliveries to do.

    Speaking of which, I need to focus back in and get back to work. I poked my head back in the forum, and I knew that was a bad idea because it's like quicksand - it just starts sucking me in and I end up writing a bunch on Star Wars instead of getting work done.

    Sorry it didn't work for you. It very much worked for me, my wife enjoyed Star Wars for the first time, and it's my kids' favorite Star Wars.

    I'm sure you'll get the Star Wars you want coming soon. They're going to go sort of EU style and just follow neat stories wherever they go. There's even a Plag. and Palp show in the pot for you.

    For me, it's pretty much over. I'll catch a few things, but I was never with Star Wars for its lore or universe. I was with it because of what it was as a movie. That's dead now. Thankfully.

    Good luck on your writing.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  8. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Jedi Contrarian

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    @Jayson and good luck on yours.
     
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  9. Martoto

    Martoto Rebel Official

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    No you aren't. You're willfully misconstruing them.

    In practice, that meant that whatever you saw and heard in the movies was canon. Everything else was undefined until it appeared in or was unambiguously referenced in a movie or TV show. It's why spin offs rarely cross paths or timelines with movie events. So that they could be ignored.

    I don't agree with your assessment. And I don't subscribe to any notion that what's right and good for Star Wars is dependent on Lucasfilm following an established or approved procedure for elevating characters and realising things in the movies and TV shows that have only been previously alluded to or appeared only in spin off material.
     
    #469 Martoto, Aug 17, 2021
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  10. SegNerd

    SegNerd Rebel Official

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    I agree that ending on the twin suns is a great visual… which is why it was so poignant when GL did it in ROTS.

    When JJ did it AGAIN in TROS, this was much less poetic. If you ask me, TROS basically copied the endings from both ROTS and ROTJ.

    Not only was JJ’s use of the twin suns unoriginal, but looking upon the twin suns tends to represent a feeling of “things are bad now, but there is hope someday.” This is not the right feeling for the final scene of the saga.
     
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  11. Martoto

    Martoto Rebel Official

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    I don't agree with that. The twin suns always meant. at least to me, the prospect of greater destiny and togetherness. Never a marker for how bad things are now. When they are first looked upon by Luke in ANH, it's out of wistful frustration. Not because things are all that "bad" for him.

    I think that, basically, George just wanted to include a direct visual link with the original trilogy. And JJ wished to to do the exact same thing.

    It would have been nice if the prequel trilogy had a visual signature moment of its own that Abrams could have referenced. But alas the PT doesn't have a moment like that.
     
    #471 Martoto, Aug 18, 2021
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  12. eeprom

    eeprom Prince of Bebers

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    With all due respect to Rinzler (RIP) and his wonderful ‘making of’ books – they’re exquisite distillments documenting the production of the movies, but I wouldn’t really recommend them if your aim is to get a nuanced view of George Lucas as a subject. What those books utilize are carefully curated excerpts from larger statements that apply to what Rinzler himself felt was appropriate for each topic as used. Whenever possible, I feel the best approach is usually to go to the original sources themselves and see them in context.
    George Lucas is a ‘baby boomer’ (well, on the cusp with ‘silent generation’ to get technical). He came of age in a time when American society, having survived the ‘great depression’ and ‘world war ii’, was desperate to reach a place of stability and structure after so many years of uncertainty and chaos. With European industry in tatters, being the principle stage of that vast conflict, the United States emerged as an economic superpower that set about constructing an institutional system of safety and security.

    American culture became an environment that prized homogeny, rigidity, conformity. When his age group entered their teenage years, they did what we take for granted today as a normal right-of-passage: they rebelled. Enhanced by the unprecedented propagation and accessibility of technology and media, they became far more separate from their parents than had ever been observed before. It’s the reason we have the term ‘generation gap’. They had their own distinct lingo. Their own distinct music, hobbies and interests. In essence, their own distinct culture. Or, rather, ‘counterculture’ – another term coined to describe this emerging phenomena at the time.

    As ‘boomers’ like George left their teens behind and ventured into college age, they brought that intense defiance of traditionalism with them and expressed it instead as political activism, protestation, social dissent and civil disobedience. There was a desire to tear down and redefine the institutions built by the previous generation. To dismantle the rigidity and the self-serving rules the ‘establishment’ played by. Both socio-politically and within business/industry.

    When George left USC and attempted to find a place within the film industry, he found it was a walled garden. It was an elitist institution. It was a business only interested in profit, rather than art. It was a factory that vampirically fed off other’s dreams, packaged them in cellophane, slapped a price tag on them and sent them to market. He, and many of his peers, wanted to revolt. To make movies on their own terms.

    "Studio heads. You can't fight them because they've got the money. The terrible thing about this count is that the dollar is valued above the individual. You can buy another person no matter how talented he is and then tell him he's wrong. They do not like to trust people. American Zoetrope functions in the opposite way. We say, 'We think you are a talented, functioning person and we are hiring you because of your abilities, and whatever you come up with, we're going to take.' If we make a mistake, it will be in picking the wrong person. What we're striving for is total freedom, where we can finance our pictures, make them our way, release them where we want them released and be completely free to express ourselves. That's very hard to do in the world of business. In this country, the only thing that speaks is money and you have to have the money in order to have the power to be free. So the danger is—in being as oppressive as the next guy to the people below you. We're going to do everything possible to avoid that pitfall. But if we fail, it's another saga in the history of man…" - The San Francisco Chronicle, May 23, 1971

    George and his contemporaries united to build a system that would challenge and revolutionize the old corrupt system. Or, to put it in prose a touch more arch, they were ‘a rebel alliance fighting against an evil empire’. Regardless, his goal then and beyond was to affect change. It was to advance/progress/evolve/grow and not to simply accept the state of things as static and immutable. It was about deliberately surpassing his predecessors.

    It helps if you read his full discussion with Cameron. He comes back to it.

    “The thing that I liked about the whole idea was that, yes, we are ruled, and the conquerors of the universe are these little one-celled animals. But they depend on us, we depend on them. And the idea was, the Force – we say it surrounds you, it controls us, we control it - it’s a two-way street.” - James Cameron's Story of Science Fiction, 2018

    So, another “symbiont circle”. Not determinism. Life affects the Force and the Force affects life. Two parties, arranged in a mutually beneficial relationship, exercising free will and taking turns at steering the ship. Which, of course, is the allegorical expression of his belief in the interconnectivity of all things.
    ___________________________________________________
    GL : The Force is what happens in spite of us that we can either use or not use. We can fight these changes, or we can use them, incorporate them into our lives, take full advantage of them. One of the most significant moments in establishing our direction now was when we landed on the moon. It was the first time we could look back and see us as one planet. We began to perceive ourselves as a human race, as one world, one little ball of humanity. We had new information with which to go forward. Some people got scared, turned inward, became overwhelmed. Others saw.

    DS : Saw what?

    GL : We saw why you cannot blindly set off an atomic bomb, for example. It is one planet and what you do on one side of the planet will affect the entire planet. The ecology of the rain forests in Brazil affects everyone. On a cultural level we are seeing it, too. Everything will merge into one culture. There will be one language everyone will speak. The issues that emerge then are not which nation is going to beat which other nation in a war but how to address the problem that there are some people who have and others who have not. We always addressed it on a provincial level, but when you realize that it is all interconnected, you realize that you have to address it on a global level.

    - Rolling Stone, November 5, 1987
    ___________________________________________________
    I don’t think it’s any more complicated than a cynical man wanting to believe and wanting others to believe – to be proven wrong and inspire others to do just that.

    "I realized after THX that people don't care about how the country's being ruined. All that movie did was to make people more pessimistic, more depressed, and less willing to get involved in trying to make the world better. So I decided that this time I would make a more optimistic film that makes people feel positive about their fellow human beings. It's too easy to make films about Watergate. And it's hard to be optimistic when everything tells you to be pessimistic and cynical. I'm a very bad cynic. But we've got to regenerate optimism. Maybe kids will walk out of the film and for a second they'll feel, 'We could really make something out of this country, or we could really make something out of our lives.' It's all that hokey stuff about being a good neighbor, and the American spirit and all that crap. There is something in it." - Film Quarterly, Spring 1974

    “I am very cynical, and as a result, I think the defense I have against it is to be optimistic and to think people are basically good, although I know in my heart they're not.” - Rolling Stone, June 12, 1980
    I feel it’s important to note that before that button he also asks the audience “anyone for survival?” Indicating that it’s within our power to affect change. The “end” he’s referring to then is the one we could bring if only we bothered to make a difference – to advance/progress/evolve/grow.
    “The plot was a vehicle for the theme and the theme is basically existential. The importance of self and being able to step out of whatever you're in and move forward rather than being stuck in your little rut. People would give anything to quit their jobs. All they have to do is do it. People would give anything for a divorce and there's nothing stopping them. They're people in cages with open doors." - The San Francisco Chronicle, May 23, 1971

    Again, the concept wasn’t about acquiescing to the inevitability of a system of control. It’s about recognizing that system, that cycle, and breaking free of it – progression/advancement/evolution/growth.

    "Now everybody says, 'The country's rotten. We've fought for change, but it doesn't work. It's hopeless.' Well, life isn't that way. It wasn't that way for THX, it wasn't that way for Curt Henderson, and it isn't that way for me. When they said I could never get into the film business, I said, 'Well, okay, but I'll try anyway.' Anybody who wants to do anything can do it. It's an old hokey American point of view, but I've sort of discovered that it's true." - Film Quarterly, Spring 1974

    The term ‘graffiti’ was originally used by historians to refer to the etchings found on the walls of ancient cities. Like those preserved on the walls of Pompeii in the aftermath of Mount Vesuvius’ devastation. They’re a moment frozen in time. A time that does not and cannot ever exist again. That’s American Graffiti. It’s the lament for an era that can only ever survive through the collapsing net spun by hazy memories and half remembered dreams – a time that George identified as “innocent” and was deeply nostalgic for.

    However, with the loss of that era and that innocence came the intrusion of adulthood and the awareness of ills like Vietnam.

    “Look at the music in the film as an example. There was the Elvis Presley era, which was simple, innocent, upbeat blues, basically. Suddenly, when these other influences—psychedelic music, the Beatles and the rest of the British Invasion—came in, the music became more sophisticated, more intelligent. And that's what happened in the culture. As with any change, you gained some things and lost some things, which is what the movie is about. It wasn't just us as individuals who were growing up. The country was going through a large life transition, and it was a very traumatic experience for those of us who went through it. It changed the way we look at the country, the way we look at ourselves.” - Rolling Stone, November 5, 1987

    It would be like if you and I collaborated to make a Linklater-esque convivial throwback flick to capture the experience of approaching adulthood in the late 90s. Hanging over that premise as an ever-present spectre would be the impending dread of what we know happens when the decade ends – an unspeakable tragedy that culminates in an immense national trauma. You’d have to speak to that in some way. What happens next with the Graffiti gang after that transformative night can’t be pleasant. That’s not surrendering to the unavoidable. It’s being respectful to that ‘end of innocence’ while also reinforcing his continued theme of breaking away from our self-imposed prisons – progression/advancement/evolution/growth.
    Right. And within that design is the never absent essential component of growth/advancement/evolution/progression. To become more than what you were before. To become more than those who came before you.
    ___________________________________________________
    GL : The idea is not to be afraid of change. There are bad robots, good robots, aliens and monsters in all forms. Star Wars shows progression. You may be frightened—and it's sad because you are leaving something behind—but go forward. That's what life is about. You can either have a good attitude about change or a bad attitude about it. You can't fight tidal waves, you can only ride them. So the best thing to do is get your surfboard and make the best of it.

    DS : But in saying, "Accept the way things are going; there's nothing you can do about it anyway, " aren't you encouraging passivity?

    GL : No. You must accept change so you can control it and make it work for you. People who fear that computers will take over the world are incapacitated. Those who realize that computers are here, and so you might as well learn how to make them work for you, are the ones who will have an advantage in the future—they will help determine how we use the new technology, how the new world is shaped. I think it's the people who realize this the fastest who can go in and subvert the system and direct it and have a far greater impact than the ones who try to throw bombs. I believe people learned that lesson in the Sixties.

    -Rolling Stone, November 5, 1987
    ___________________________________________________
    I’m sorry. I respect your opinion and admire the extent to which you’ve brought legitimate contemplative analysis and sound support for your perspective, but that’s not at all the message I’ve heard/read the man espouse. He believes in activism and encourages direct involvement. He doesn’t endorse simply enduring troubled times, but getting involved and making proactive change for the better. Even if it fails. Even if it leads nowhere - stand up and push things forward with all your heart.
    Yes, it’s a choice. A choice to be better. Better today than yesterday. Better tomorrow than today. You aren’t a fixed point. No one and nothing is in this world. Nothing ever stays the same.

    “You have to move forward, things can't stay the same; essentially that's the point of the film. No matter how much you want things to be the same, they won't and can't; everything is always changing, and you have to accept change.” - Filmmakers Newsletter, March 1974
    What I see at play in TLJ with this thread is yet another application in the reduction of preciousness. Just as he’s challenging the sanctity of established convention of its filmmaking and the internal traditions of the archetypes, he’s challenging the reverence of these vaunted figures. He isn’t destroying idols so much as he’s humanizing heroes – demystifying them. The people we admire: parents, teachers, celebrities, leaders – they aren’t superhumans. They aren’t afforded some extra-sensory awareness that grants them automatic superiority above us. They weren’t preordained to be ‘great’. They’re just people. No better or worse than any other. They happened to have made choices – decisions that they believed were right in the moment – and those choices worked out.

    Rey believes that Luke Skywalker (Jedi Master – living legend) will swoop in to save the galaxy. Because that’s what he does. That’s who he is. He’s a legendary hero. The reality is in understanding that he’s just a man. He wasn’t destined to be what he became. He didn’t save the galaxy because it was written in a book. He made a choice and what happened next is what happened. Rey can make her own choice then. She doesn’t need to be a legend, some child of prophecy, she just needs to be someone who wants to make a difference and have the courage to fight for her convictions.

    So Rey is set on the path of growth/evolution/advancement/progression with the knowledge that what Luke represents isn’t this unattainable station of paragon. He’s an imperfect, flawed human. Just like her. Something she can reach and something she can surpass because she’s learned from the hard lessons won from his pitfalls of fallibility. And she’ll move on, passing her strengths to another. Another who will know both her virtues and failings and thus surpass her in kind. And so on and so on.
    It's not any more complicated than “pass on what you have learned.” That’s an “inherited one-up”. Learning from the experience of others. Incorporating it into your life, applying it anew and growing because of it. It’s not a difficult concept.

    No one can ever “defeat” evil just as no one can ever defeat addiction. It’s always there. It never magically disappears. Accepting that fact is integral, but that isn’t the end. It’s just the beginning. Your goal, if you truly care, isn’t about ‘living with it’. It’s about doing the work and figuring out where that dark tendency comes from. Discovering why you’re so susceptible to the behavior that persists that unhealthy dependency. You can’t make it go away, but you can, day-by-day, improve yourself and give that darkness a smaller and smaller platform to infest and spread.

    The mindset that ‘nothing ever changes’ – ‘what’s here is all there can be’, no, that’s not what George has ever been saying.
    Escaping the samsaric cycle and reaching nirvana is the basic objective of Buddhism. Yes, you can persist in an endless/ceaseless carnal loop of your own making. But you don’t have to. You can choose to be better. You can choose to “grow beyond”.

    Thanks again for allowing me to tumble down that rabbit hole of introspection and mental/emotional rationalization. Sorry for the excessive post. This is actually the abridged version. I had a lot to get off my glitchy little noodle.
     
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