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Return of the Jedi is the Destruction of Star Wars

Discussion in 'Original Trilogy' started by The Birdwatcher, Jun 23, 2020.

  1. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    Firstly, I don't mean this offensively, but it is a real big challenge to read your writing due to its formatting and run-on tangent nature.

    That aside....

    I'll circle back to what I wrote originally in this thread:
    You don't seem to have overall drifted from this reading as far as I can tell; though slightly.

    The largest issue that I see you having is that you bring rational logic to Star Wars and ask why characters don't do logically sensible things instead of these ridiculous things, and how we can be asked to believe given circumstances that don't rationally make logical sense.

    Yep. That is Star Wars.
    That's been Star Wars since day one.

    Star Wars is an allegorical fairy tale which focuses on painting ontological scenes like moving stained glass.
    Things don't happen so the plot makes sense.
    The plot happens so the ontological painting can occur in one scene.

    Everything's just an excuse to get to key points in the story that are allegorical motifs.

    Lucas, of all people, could give a rats ____ about making the plot make sense.
    You know this. You've read the making of material. You've seen the meetings discussions. You've read Lucas say that they'll just make something so that it happens.

    Lucas can write a sensible and rationally driven narrative story. See American Graffiti.
    Lucas simply didn't want to do that with Star Wars. It was nowhere in his line of sight to make a the story rational.

    Star Wars was a mixture of his actual interest of pure cinema blended with regular movie flare.
    At its core, that is what made it different.

    Not counting American Graffiti, which he did because his wife challenged him, so he did it just to prove that he could, look at what Lucas was doing before Star Wars.

    THX-1138. That's a full movie. Rational? Hardly. Logical? Not really. Does anything in it make a good amount of sense? No...not really.
    It's a film that is a tour de force of pure cinema format slammed into a movie with almost zero apologies for doing so.

    Star Wars was more apologetic. It attempted to reach the audience where THX didn't bother one bit to try to bend itself down and play up for the audience.

    But let's step back even further. Let's go to college with Lucas.
    Is this rational?


    No.
    But you know what it is? It's pretty close to how Star Wars works.
    I guarantee you that if you understand the language of this film, then Star Wars is understandable in the same light. Star Wars just happens to have dialogue.

    But that dialogue is only there because Lucas has to put it in to put it in front of people as a regular movie. You can turn off the dialogue to Star Wars and it works almost exactly the same as Anyone Lived in a Pretty [How] Town.

    The only real big difference is that Star Wars is like Anyone Lived in a Pretty [How] Town intercut with 1:42.08 action styling and, again, dialogue.


    So yeah...if you want to tear down ROTJ for being horribly irrational in a myriad of manners, you can easily do that. VERY easily.
    The film makes about as much sense as reading a holy text's tellings of its central protagonist going about some venture, or the Iliad's tales of its protagonists.

    That's kind of the point.

    This is Star Wars in the Original Trilogy.
    this is star wars.png

    That's it. With very few exceptions, the rest of everything is an excuse to get to these images - these motifs - these symbols.

    And that is all Star Wars is.

    Star Wars is an excuse, wrapped in really cool looking space fantasy, to get to a handful of ontological allegory moments that together represent a metaphor in an abstract nature of personifying experiential emotions of growth in life from the perspective of a mind which wants to do good in life.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
    #41 Jayson, Jul 22, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2020
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  2. Matsemitsu

    Matsemitsu Clone Commander

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    What's funny is I think about this (as well as Yoda's line to him about how Jedi use the force for "knowledge and defense, never attack") all the time when I play Luke on Battlefront. Man, can you be fierce and all hack 'n slash-y with this dude! Super fun, but philosophically, not really very true to character. (Or maybe it's the way I play him and I have the dark side in me, haha.)

    But to your point: yes. Just the other day I watched that scene again, and it's such an original and fitting idea.
     
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  3. cawatrooper

    cawatrooper Dungeon Master

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    Or, perhaps Palpatine is eroding Luke's faith in his friends, making him feel alone and angry? You know, laying the foundation for the Dark Side?


    I guess I just tend to see the idea of a trilogy being thematically coherent as a good thing...

    I'm afraid that this is just something that I cannot even begin to understand.

    We know Luke cares for his friends.

    We know the dark side can be alluring, and its practitioners can be ruthless in their indoctrination (see Fallen Order for a recent example).

    I'm sorry, but this is such a strange criticism, to me. Even if there was no logic to back up this threat (and I think there's a ton), I think it's still reasonable for Luke to be concerned about Leia's potential fall in his absence.

    And sometimes that is how a moral victory is portrayed.

    But it's kinda disingenuous to claim that's the case here.


    That's... definitely not how I'd read it.

    Yoda saying Jedi use the Force in self defense means that it's a preventative measure, not an aggressive one.

    He's not saying that Jedi have a mandate to defend themselves, and often their sacrifice (as in, the Moral Victory) is what wins the day. Look no further than some of the greatest Jedi of all canon: Qui Gon, Kanan, Luke on Crait, even Ben Solo eventually.

    You do understand that, right?


    But that's not what's happening. This isn't Vader taking his Sith Empire. It's him saving his Jedi son.

    ESB laid the groundwork for Vader wanting to overthrow the Emperor, and ROTJ delivered on that with a twist. You aren't supposed to think Vader would never betray the Emperor, or that the scene from ESB was retconned for some reason- rather, the twist of fate that he does overthrow the Emperor, but for reasons that are far more altruistic than previously broadcast. Personally, I think it was well and cleverly done.


    Vader doesn't care really about the choices he made (except having Luke as a son); he wants to rule the galaxy.

    Weird... you'd think someone so intent on ruling the galaxy would've had more self preservation that this.



    [​IMG]



    You truly don't think so?

    He'd just gone ham on Vader (by tapping into the dark side), then made the decision to toss away his saber.

    Like it or not, this is where the film takes a stand: the Jedi way is through compassion, not arms.

    EVEN against Palpatine. Even then, Luke realizes that he cannot defeat Palpatine through righteous use of light side violence and win.

    His choices are:

    -Fight using the light side and probably die due to being outmatched
    - Tap into the dark side. Maybe he'll win, but at what cost (moral defeat)
    - Be non-combative, as there is no apparent victory through arms

    I'm sorry, but to me this seems like pretty basic Star Wars. I don't mean to try to change your mind or ridicule you, and I enjoy our debate. But I'm not sure most fans would interpret this scene as anything but.

    So true.

    The Jedi being video game-ified has led to some huge misconceptions about them.

    I used to think it was because the prequel Ubermensch Jedi came out around the big revolution of 3 dimensional gaming, making them prime candidates for such stuff... and I think that's still at least partly the case. That's why fans have debates about "power levels" and force ability trees, stuff that has no place in actual Jedi philosophy.

    Same goes for Fallen Order. While I suppose Cal in his desperation makes sense fighting some stormtroopers that are hunting him, it's so jarring seeing him single-handedly eliminate a planet's ecosystem by killing all animals in sight :p
     
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  4. Matsemitsu

    Matsemitsu Clone Commander

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    Hadn't even considered that, but yes, that's the same principle that I meant. And this particular game is canon. I don't mind, as I think it's a great SW story. But so many aspects of the Jedi and Force users and the representation of their powers have changed over the decades and become more superhero-y as a result. The PT influenced that greatly of course, Clone Wars did a lot (because it's animation), and video games did as well.

    Which is why I found Luke's finale in TLJ kind of refreshing. Slomo lightsaber dodging aside, this is a return to the original pacifist Jedi philosophy first explained by Yoda. Hadn't been seen for quite a while before 2017.
     
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  5. The Birdwatcher

    The Birdwatcher Rebel Official

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    I'm going to distill this down to make sure I have this essentially correct.

    1) The film is narratively and even technically flawed.

    Yes, I believe that the film's narrative wavers between very good (Han and Chewie reunion scene) to very poor (throne room scene, some scenes with Jabba). Often, it is average or poor all-around.

    2) The Judaeo-Christian allegorical symbolism is an undesirable, confusing, and unmerited motivation for the protagonist.


    I am not against the Christian symbolism AT ALL in the film. Neither is it undesirable, confusing, and unmerited motivation for the protagonist- it works better in the February 1981 rough draft summary of Revenge of the Jedi and is less out of the blue with Luke's character. Nor am I against the theme of redemption, either, in relation to Vader.

    The execution of said symbolism with the plot- how the narrative is constructed- to convey meaning could be better handled. The scene where Luke realizes that he may become his father, an uncompassionate monster, is good, although the reason used (Leia may turn to the dark side, somehow!) is so vague that it doesn't make sense. If Luke were to get mad for another reason- death of friends or torture, it would make better sense. I guess he's been desensitized with having his friends be threatened with death or torture, so perhaps the only route left was having someone turn to the dark side?

    My point was that Lucas was making Luke's fall to the dark side SO EXTREME, without much nuance in the film, aside from the one scene where he puts his black glove on after the Jabba's barge fight- which to fair was confusing, since Williams' music and the choreography make Luke's rescue seem heroic, despite dialogue that goes against Yoda's teachings ("Jabba. Free us or die."). Despite Yoda saying that a Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never attack.

    Granted, I think that attacking is still the right thing to do in certain situations, which is why I side with Luke in TESB. Also, Yoda was willing to ditch Luke in TESB- "No, there is another" (also he drops his syntax inversion in this statement, which may be revealing). However, ROTJ is more clear that attacking is the wrong thing to do, period, with Luke refusing to fight the Emperor and Darth at the end, despite a mixed message during the Jabba fight.

    In TESB, Luke's decision is handled better (and I would say that perhaps it's unintentional, but going off to save his friends at the potential cost of his own life is Christ-like). He gets cocky a little bit during the fight ("You'll find I'm full of surprises"), gets mad a bit with retaliation against Darth, but despite the film being negative and framing Luke as being defeated, Luke chooses the right decisions throughout the fight.
     
  6. Martoto

    Martoto Rebel Official

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    I love that too. Although it tickles me that "Luke" appears to go to great efforts to avoid being hit by a saber that can't harm him. All to divert Kylo from the fleeing Resistance, of course.
     
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  7. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    Thematically, this is not the case.

    To quote a portion of my earlier point:
    ANH - Denies the guidance system. Relies on faith. Wins.
    ESB - Accepts lightsaber and uses it blindly whacking away. Doesn't rely on his values. Fails.
    ROTJ - Denies his lightsaber. Relies on compassion. Wins.
    TLJ - Denies his lightsaber. Jadedly blames reality. Fails.
    TLJ - Accepts lightsaber but uses it as a distraction without any physical presence. Relies on ontological acceptance. Wins.​

    You know that scene is in there for no other reason than for three things A) Show that Luke has come into his own in capability B) Give kids a big Jedi action scene just winning all over the place C) Homage the old swashbuckler films.

    That's it.

    As to being in conflict...it's not. Yes. It is pedantically, but there's this constant thing in Star Wars - there's two sides to every Star Wars film. A) Stuff that happens outside of the critical moral ontological allegory moments, and B) Stuff that happens inside of the critical moral ontological allegory moments.

    That is, the philosophy of Star Wars is only subject to its rules when it's within the frame of a moment which tests that specific clause and moral of the character.

    The rest of the time, Star Wars, as I mentioned previously, is a string of romps and excuses to get to those moments, and what happens during the romps and excuses sections really doesn't matter. It's irrelevant to the meat and potatoes. That's why Star Wars is so easy for everyone to "write a 'better' version" of whatever film they want to out of the saga - because over 90% of the story simply does - not - matter.

    Again, you know this. You've read the making of books.
    You've read how Lucas slides around on over 90% of the plots with laissez faire interest - at times even just telling Kasdan to just make something up to fill in the space.

    To quote myself again, these are the only parts that fundamentally matter in the original trilogy to the film making.
    These are the parts they wrapped everything else around.
    [​IMG]

    Then leave it at that. That's all that matters.
    The rest is just an excuse for that moment. You know Leia was a shoehorn move to smooth over the "there is another" line, and that they needed Vader to goat Luke with something but there's really nothing motivating him left or given to him other than Vader from the previous two films. That's all there is to it. They just made him care about family. They didn't spend time explaining or showing that he cares because he cares about family, and he cares about family because he grew up without having a real solid connection to feeling a part of his real family, and was always at odds with his adoptive parents on Tatooine, and now his Dad is this evil bast--- and he just found out he has a sister, and it's Leia of all people. Nope. They didn't bother with that.

    And you know why they didn't? Because THAT is what a character driven narrative does, and these films, as you very well know from reading the making of books, are NOT character driven narrative films.
    They have characters. Those characters have narratives. And these are films.
    But categorically, no writing instructor anywhere will pull down a Star Wars OT or PT film as an example of a character driven narrative - especially not the OT.

    What they are, and again, you know this, is Pulp Fiction.
    They are - in full breadth - Ontological Allegory Fairy Tale Play Pulp Fiction Space Fantasy Films.

    What they are not are character studies. Every scene and action does - not - matter to the building of the uncovering of the deeper psychological operation of the principle characters, or character.

    We know almost nothing about the deeper psychology of Luke. We assume a lot.
    And everyone has differing views, and that is why there's so many discussions; because there's no definition in the film which prevents a wide range of interpretation of what Luke's deep psychological motivation is 90% of the time.

    Hamill had to make up his character motivation in his own head.
    Lucas, infamously, would almost never tell him anything useful on the subject, and it wasn't there in the script.

    If an actor comes to Lucas with an idea over motivation, as long as the reason is to support whatever on screen result Lucas is looking for, Lucas almost always (and I would write "always", but I'm leaving room for some footage somewhere out there of him having an actor conversation about deep psychological motivation and character study) just effectively says, 'Sure, go with that.'

    This was the huge and main shift from Lucasian Star Wars (OT, PT) and the Post-Lucasian Star Wars (ST and stand alones). The post-Lucasian Star Wars are character driven narratives.
    Everything in them matters. Every scene is there to push and dive into the psychological engine purring away under each principle character, and each principle character is there to independently support an overall topical theme of the story.

    Lucasian Star Wars does not do this - again, you know this. You are far too versed on the production material to not know this (I've read the same material you have listed reading, so I know you should be aware of quite a lot of the logic of how Star Wars works and why it happened).

    Every character in a Lucasian Star Wars film is there to support the singular principle character and the principle character's narrative alone is the overall topical theme of the story, and their deep psychological engine is not where that theme is explored, but instead the character's actions and choices externally during critical moments are what's explored. We only lightly step into psychoanalyst scenes a couple times in ESB and that's pretty much it.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
    #47 Jayson, Jul 23, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2020
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  8. The Birdwatcher

    The Birdwatcher Rebel Official

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    You don't seem to have overall drifted from this reading as far as I can tell; though slightly.

    I didn't see your second post until today. Your claim for point 2 was incorrect, and I have explained why it is incorrect today.

    ESB - Accepts lightsaber and uses it blindly whacking away. Doesn't rely on his values. Fails.

    I thought that Luke did a good job handling that lightsaber in Empire. He may have not have been as reserved as Vader and impulsively attacked Vader firsthand when he could have waited for Vader to attack him first, but he still did the right thing.

    And Luke DOES NOT FAIL. Return of the Jedi- both the novelization, film, and George Lucas view Luke's impatience as a flaw and that going after his friends when Luke wasn't ready from not training enough with the Force was a bad thing. But Luke was ready enough to save his butt and do the morally right thing.

    And Luke does rely on his values, and he wins because of it. Sacrificing himself or saying no by jumping off the platform so that he won't be forced to join the Empire.

    Luke only fails to save his friends, and to be fair, he stops directly saving them because Leia shoos him off by stating that it's a trap.

    Honestly, I think it's a post-Empire narrative to assume that Luke did the wrong thing. It's more ambiguous in Empire, and I still remember Gary Kurtz emphasizing the good vs. evil theme in Empire in an interview. Luke is good, and Vader is bad, despite some complexity thrown in.
     
    #48 The Birdwatcher, Jul 23, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2020
  9. eeprom

    eeprom Prince of Bebers

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    Your response is to @Jayson, so I don’t want to get too far off on what he might want to reply, but felt like addressing this statement at the very least.

    The narrative establishes the concept earlier in the film: “Bury your feelings deep down, Luke. They do you credit, but they could be made to serve the emperor.” This is a direct plant for that later threat, “Your thoughts betray you...you have a twin sister...Your feelings have now betrayed her, too.” The motivation behind leaving his friends to confront Vader, in addition to his own personal goals, was to ensure their safety (from Vader at least).

    Whatever form ‘turning to the darkside’ would mean for Leia, we can assume it wouldn’t be good - a fate worse than death perhaps. And it would be because of him. Because of his own overconfidence. Because he didn’t listen to his mentor, “Obi-Wan was wise to hide her from me. Now his failure is complete.”

    Luke’s rage isn’t just toward Vader on account of that threat. It’s toward himself too as he’s responsible for it coming to this. That’s what Vader is needling him with. Whatever harm comes to Leia now, it would be due to his own failure. His own weakness. That’s what Luke lashes out at. It’s a desperate and hate filled attempt to fix the problem he himself created.
    Which, if you think about too hard, kind of spoils the fun.

    Why didn’t Luke just tell them that’s what he was doing? How did he even know the Resistance COULD escape? What if Kylo didn’t take that bait and go down to challenge him? Could Luke have made him see anyone? What if he’d made a fake Leia instead?

    Best not to worry too much about that stuff :)
    Well, also to demonstrate the violent lengths Luke is willing to go to protect his friends.
     
    #49 eeprom, Jul 23, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2020
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  10. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    You're focusing on the wrong part for judging his success or failure.

    Ontological Allegory.

    Look at Luke's emotional success. He fails. He does not think well of himself. He is in emotional duress. He is not in control, has no acceptance, nor is he at peace.
    That is success in Star Wars. Control, Acceptance & Peace.

    Every single critical moral moment of success of Luke is preceded by him calming himself, accepting his place, bringing himself to peace, and then acting.
    Every single critical moral moment of failure of Luke lacks this moment preceding his actions.

    And every time he does fail to carry through with control, acceptance, and peace, he ends up suffering.

    That's even true in the ST - they kept that pattern there.
    And it's true in ANH and ESB, before it's also true in ROTJ.
    Hell, it's the very core of the training session on the Falcon in ANH!

    You want to make ESB a shrine of where Star Wars stops? Go ahead. I would just say...you don't have much Star Wars to like by doing that, though.
    Which...that's a real bummer for you.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
    #50 Jayson, Jul 23, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2020
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  11. Lock_S_Foils

    Lock_S_Foils Red Leader

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    @Jayson Superb post, I just so happen to be rerereading the Making of Star Wars and am in the 1968-73 section. What a lot of the “newer” fandom does not get about Lucas is that he made Star Wars for himself. He really did not care if it made money, and his first desire was really not to make SW but to buy the rights to Flash Gordon. The fans that were pissed because they didn’t see a “coherent plan” for the ST would be shocked to know that Lucas had no coherent plan for the OT.....and many of his ideas would probably not be met with universal admiration
     
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  12. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    Thanks, and of course I agree. :)

    Though, those who fit within your outline here, unfortunately if someone points out the lack of planning for the OT, that usually leads to a comment about how it was fine for the originals because it was new. Going on further to outline how it's not OK for further films because they are an established franchise.

    Even if we accept this logic, or the premise of the concept about whether something should or shouldn't be planned (nope; doesn't matter - I reject that notion - see Die Hard and Ghost Busters for details), then the ST gets the pass as well as they were trying to do something entirely new and unfamiliar to anyone outside of Lucas.
    Of course they were trying to make a buck, but honestly, there's always more to that with folks like Kennedy who are in the Lucas and Spielberg circle.

    They were trying to hand the Lucasian way of storytelling and its tradition to a new generation of storytellers and find a way to do that.
    That is very, very hard. The Lucasian way of storytelling is very weird and atypical.

    It's like handing a franchise over by David Lynch and having people pick up and try to figure out how to preserve its heritage of storytelling craft in people who aren't David Lynch.

    No one typically does this too often, and Lucas, of all artists, is a very esoteric artist to attempt to emulate.
    Swinging from the hip was almost always going to be a huge part of this.

    However, I hold, at the end of the day, that planning is not an excuse.
    If you don't like something, do not pin your dislike on how planned it was or not, because films that had nearly no planning at all worked out great and became cultural staples.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  13. Lock_S_Foils

    Lock_S_Foils Red Leader

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    Yes on the "Lucasian" way of storytelling! "The Making of" book is quite telling about Lucas' personal idiosyncracies and style. He ABHORRED writing and had to be FORCED to write storyboards and scripts.

    The more I read about Lucas the more I admire him , as we share many of the same traits. I see him as the "big vision" guy who loves to go WAY "out of the box" - in fact he loved to DESTROY "the box" to a certain extent. He has a million thoughts and ideas in his head but getting them out into a coherent plan, or a movie, is difficult.

    At work I am the same way, I am one of the senior leaders of an organization of just over 400 folks, and I LOVE to challenge our folks to come up with new, better, and radically different ways to do things. I have a white board in my office that I love to use just to sketch out thoughts and ideas. I always ask WHY WHY WHY we do things the way we do......in Lucas I see the same things like his hatred of the Hollywood elite "standard filmmaking processes" and his desire to keep the development of Star Wars out of that. His support of the ideas on moving the camera vs moving the models were completely groundbreaking and revolutionary.

    We should be glad we live in this era of the development of Star Wars because I think we may never see another groundbreaking, revolutionary, radical change in filmmaking like we did in 1977. I could be wrong though (watch the Mandalorian "maiking of" documentary episode on "The Volume" - now that is amazing!!)
     
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  14. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    Actually...I have a bone to pick with Star Wars.
    It chewed up and killed any ability for me to ever see Lucas' pure cinema work that he would have done.
    Catch 22, however, because I would have likely never heard of him if he stuck to that like he had originally assumed.
    That said, cake and eat it too...I just wish I could have gotten Star Wars, and then Lucas just go off and make pure cinema films he wanted to instead of getting sucked into building the empire of his dream film business...and yet again, catch 22, because it's only because he did that that we have a lot of what we do today.
    No Lucas building a business, no ILM for the industry. No ILM for the industry, no animation spinoff. No animation spinoff, no Steve Jobs, after being fired from Apple, stepping in once they were separate and needing help. No Steve Jobs and animation spinoff, no Pixar. No Pixar, no massive push on computer generated animation.
    Equally, no Lucas building business, no Avatar or nearly almost all of films at this point being basically a super improved version of how the prequels were made 20 years ago.

    It's just a catch 22. I dearly love the man's cinematic storytelling eye, and I feel like I only barely just got to see it.

    That was the one bit I was a bit miffed about with the ST, actually, and about the only thing.
    They didn't try to hand off the cinematic concepts and mind as a tradition to go along with it. They let every director in each film and series, do their own thing. Everyone had to follow a storytelling style and check against Lucasfilm for a "go", but there was no equal concept being applied for the visual articulation of the films and series', and that feel and look of how Lucas shot, composed, and edited (directed the editing/edited) is half of the amazingly unique tradition of Star Wars that I was hoping to see passed on instead of lost.

    He's one of the last of the pure cinema era, and is absolutely the last of any renown. And we're going to lose everything he understands about the lens and eye.
    And that makes me a bit sad.

    I don't know about that.
    We definitely won't see it in film.
    Film is drawing its last breath, and the small screen is reaching its twilight years.

    However, the "iScreen" (as I call it - that is, streaming/portable) is only just birthing to be honest, and I'm absolutely certain that we'll see something come out of that which catches us completely by surprise. It won't be film. It won't be that experience.
    It'll be something else. Different. Uncanny, and at a pace that seems off and aloof because it won't be trapped by a massive business suffocated by politics and investments (yet).

    The iScreen era is just entering into its era, and its just hitting the point equal to the early mid-60's when the auteur directors began to just start to grab the reigns.
    In 20 years, we'll be looking at an entirely different landscape filled with new visual and storytelling language from minds of those who are young now, and walk at a different pace and metaphorical circadian rhythm than ourselves.

    I mean...look at this...of all the things 10 years ago I expected to see out of newer generations ... this movement...this wasn't one of them.


    Or...this.


    And yet...whelp...there they are.

    We'll see what the storytelling visual medium does. It'll take longer than music, and music is only just starting to spread its new era of people just flipping the middle finger and going DIY.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  15. eeprom

    eeprom Prince of Bebers

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    You can wander the wilderness without a map or compass and make it back to safety. People do it all the time. People also routinely find themselves hopelessly lost and in desperate need of rescue going that route. Even if you never wind up using it, having a plan is better than not having a plan. I’m dealing in absolutes here? Yes. Yes I am. To even entertain the opposite is pure absurdity. It makes about as much sense as the ‘rhythm method’ does as contraception. I don’t care if it worked for your cool uncle George. Why would you take that risk if you didn’t have to?

    The distinction to be made though is the level of commitment and obligation to said plan. You can map out in excruciating detail how exactly you intend to make your trek through wilderness, but there’s no accounting for the division between what you expect the conditions to be and what the reality actually is. You have to know when to adjust the plan, when to revise it and when to throw it out completely.

    There’s no way in this world (or any other) I’ll ever believe that Kathleen Kennedy, a seasoned professional in the industry, handed the reigns by George Lucas himself, to a multibillion dollar enterprise with millions of fan’s investments and thousands of employee’s livelihoods in the balance, didn’t have a plan. That she just said “meh, do whatever you want.” No . . . f**king . . . way. That assertion is just beyond ignorant.

    Basic common sense would dictate that there was some kind of overarching map to the perspective three part story. The matter in question is how elaborate and precise that map was. My guess? Not very. Probably just a loose guideline with nothing set in stone: a proposed course that could be adjusted or rerouted entirely if necessary. No finished film is ever an exact realization of what was initially conceived. That’s a non sequitur. It becomes what it becomes organically as dozens (if not hundreds) of people come together to construct it, each bringing their own unique touches and sensibilities.

    What I interpret people criticizing is the unseized opportunity to work this trilogy out from start-to-finish at the onset. They were essentially planning on telling one contiguous six hour movie, broken up into three parts. A beginning, middle, and end. You don’t make a movie by only writing the first act, filming it, editing it, then going back to figure out how the other two connect. The end result would most probably be disjointed and muddled. So why would you do that if you didn't have to? That's a fair objection to raise.

    As far as George Lucas, here are his thoughts on this topic while painfully working his way through the first trilogy. “If I do the next Star Wars trilogy, I'll do all three at once. That's sort of been the plan from the beginning…I think we'll try, on the next one, to write all three scripts at once. Then they can come out every year instead of every three years.” - "The George Lucas Saga" by Kerry O'Quinn, Starlog, July, 1981

    Some movies can be resoundingly successful without the most basic adherence to a concise, articulated strategy. Some people can miraculously walk away from a car accident without having worn a seatbelt too. That doesn’t make seatbelts excessive or needless.
     
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  16. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    You might misunderstand me.

    My position is, "I do not care at all."

    My position on people who care is that they shouldn't rest their like or dislike on the qualifier of whether there was or wasn't a plan.
    Don't give ANY film that excuse, ever.

    When someone says they don't like a film because there wasn't a plan, they are handing an excuse to the film as to why it doesn't work for them that is not a valid industry excuse for sucking.
    There are multiple examples of poorly planned situations that produced films that people enjoyed.

    Hell, even within this franchise there are. Even recently. Solo, Rogue One. Both had plans that went entirely sideways to the point of effectively having no plan, and it's not like the ST didn't have any plan - as you note.

    People just don't like the plan that was used. Whoopty doo.
    Stick to the actuality rather than the unqualifiable abstraction. "You" (proverbial) didn't like the movie(s). List what's in them that you didn't like all you want - the acting, the writing, the camera work, the editing, etc...whatever.

    But don't give any film an excuse to be crippled by citing a lack of good planning.

    I'm not even remotely joking. I actually told a friend in the industry about this kind of critique and his response was to burst out laughing.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
    #56 Jayson, Jul 24, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2020
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  17. eeprom

    eeprom Prince of Bebers

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    If someone’s main detraction toward even a single film is that there was an apparent lack of cohesion between the first and second halves, I’m not sure how that operates as an “excuse” on anyone’s part. I don’t see how that’s not a legitimate, substantive critique from an unfulfilled audience member. If that’s their sincere takeaway, that the pieces don’t quite make a satisfying whole, then I fail to see the issue in supposing why (knowing the construction of the story) that might be.

    For example: Spielberg’s ‘A.I.’ - I happen to enjoy the film overall, but my misgivings are largely from the sensation of a narrative tone that’s at odds with itself. It’s a film that doesn’t seem completely clear on what it’s trying to be and ends up alienating me. I found out later the history of the project. How much Kubrick had been involved in the development of the screenplay, had planned to direct, and how the handoff happened with Spielberg later on. Then it clicked. That’s what’s off about it. It’s the product of two visionary auteurs who have distinctly different pallets that (for me at least) don’t play nice with each other. It just doesn’t totally work.

    That’s not an “excuse”, it’s an explanation. I have genuine reservations about the content of a film and they can (ostensibly) be traced back to the circumstances of its production. That’s not putting anyone on, or taking anyone off, any hooks. It’s simply my honest reaction and an educated guess as to why. A similar argument can’t be made here?

    OBSERVATION: I don’t like this story because it doesn’t feel like one consistent story.

    RESEARCH: This story wasn’t written as one consistent story.

    SUPPOSITION: Maybe I’d like this story if it had been written as one consistent story.

    Granted, that’s likely not the place this sentiment is largely coming from for most. Probably something more approaching psychosomatic then anything else. ‘I know how the thing was made. So if I don’t like it, then it’s probably because of how the thing was made.’ But I don’t see how the basic premise of the observation itself, which leads to the subjective valuation, is invalid.
     
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  18. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    Perfectly valid. Stop there. That's my meaning in making the point.

    Totally normal thing to do. I read loads of non-fiction film production material.

    Totally invalid axiomatic supplementation for aesthetic disagreement.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  19. Angelman

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

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    Great discussion, all :)

    I read through this thread planing to make this point at the end, but you beat me to it :)

    Personally, I have always understood Luke's breakdown as him (Luke) freaking out about the path he has set in motion for Leia, which will (as far as he knows) turn his sister into a twisted wreak of a shadow of a person that he (Luke) finds his father to currently be. Luke has accepted at this point (assuming he believes Palpatine) that his friends on the Sanctuary moon will die... that, of course, is unfortunate but the situation is what it is and it can always get worse. Falling to the Dark Side would be worse, much worse, and Luke -- the way I read the scene -- is in that moment prepared to sacrifice himself and embrace the Dark Side (to defeat Darth Vader) as a way to save Leia from the Dark Side; Luke only changes his mind when the fact that it is all just Palpatine's manipulations becomes clear. At that point, it is no longer about who might be forced into embracing the Dark Side, it is about denying Palpatine a win, and Palpatine cannot win if nobody plays his wicked game.
     
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  20. eeprom

    eeprom Prince of Bebers

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    Hmm, sort of like claiming ANH would be better if Luke had sword fought Vader ;)

    Anytime you state ‘X’ would be better if it did ‘Y’, you’re assigning a critical value judgement. That either has merit or it doesn’t. You can disagree, but you don’t get to say it doesn’t matter just because it doesn’t matter to you.

    I mean, you can say it. You can say it all you want. You can say it all day long if that's your thing. It's just not terribly constructive :)
     
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