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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. The Birdwatcher

    The Birdwatcher Rebel Official

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    Thanks for the needed perspective!

    I don't mind the "subversive" ending for its subversion (I have seen subversive endings/plot threads work really, really well- (Live A Live, for instance). I think, however, compared to the rough first draft (of Return of the Jedi)'s version of the throne room scene, we could have had something really cool, and I think it is A LOT better than what we got, despite trim and polish.

    It's not even so much the envisioning of the characters as much as it is intent and focus, and how it is often randomly created. I think it's possible, despite long hours within a few days and several meetings that the plot was rushed with its revisions. And how/the initial ideas were more excellent than the revisions/subsequent focus.

    I think the reason why the film is all over the place with its ending is what Lucas is focusing on- creating a modern fairy tale for children, since he was worried about what they were learning on television.

    This intent is no so much to tell a story in itself as it is to soothe and uplift children and prepare them for society. That is a BIT disturbing. Lucas's intent isn't political. It DOES have an agenda- to help kids. This affects the plot- drastically. It is a reason why ROTJ's ending is positive, which again, is fine, but I wish it had gone with the rough draft route- it was more meaningful with Anakin coming back from the dead/stasis? than leaving him as a ghost. And it was meaningful for Anakin to finally die in the lava, where Vader began, as opposed to "mask removal" (as much as Vader's breathing had been emphasized). And being burned in a scene (where Luke is proud after being devastated that Vader's dead?????).

    The answer as to why Star Wars keeps nose-diving is the curbing/censorship of potentially adult/mature/meaningful ideas towards the "mythic narrative" in a positive way for kids against creativity/storytelling of meaningful ideas. I believe it is key reason for dissent from mature fans against children- Star Wars is a mix of both mature ideas/narrative and childish ideas/narrative, with both ideas working against another.

    It isn't just Lucas who has this idea of curbing towards children- Marquand chose the design of Ackbar in order to teach children that good guys can look ugly too- Ackbar's design was selected to TEACH children that good guys can look ugly. It's not to further the illusion of science fiction or science fantasy, it is for teaching.

    Even Kersher was thrilled to be filming a film for children, he said. Kurtz might have even have said that the film was for children, too. Despite other mature concepts, the hard-edge sci-fi art that one would find in an adult/teenage sci-fi novel of the time, and being advertised at comic cons for at least the teenage crowd, Star Wars always has seemed to be marketed towards the younger generation.
     
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  2. Martoto

    Martoto Rebel Official

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    As a child who was there in 83, the biggest impression I got from the movie was that Luke defeated Vader. YAY!!! Good guy beat the bad guy. YAY!!! It mattered less to me that the bad guy was Luke's father except that he stopped being the bad guy after Luke beat him. Which I thought was nice of him. The Emperor left very little impression on me when I first saw the movie besides "oh there are more bad guys" and the obvious symbolism of Vader becoming a good guy by saving Luke from him.

    Jabba , the Ewoks and even Admiral Ackbar made a much greater impression on me than the Emperor at that time.
     
    #82 Martoto, Aug 10, 2021
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2021
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  3. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    Same here, except replace Jabba, Ewoks, and Ackbar with the desert ship, tree village, and speeder bikes.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  4. DailyPlunge

    DailyPlunge Coramoor

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    I've been a Star Wars fan for over 4 decades. I was too young to see the films in the theaters so as an 80s kid I think I saw A New Hope and Return of the Jedi before Empire. I loved RotJ and I still enjoy it. It's in my bottom tier of Star Wars films though. The plan to rescue Han that's mentioned in Empire makes very little sense if you think about it. Han is kind of sidelined. The Luke/Anakin stuff is gold.

    I do think that so people have missed the central part of Luke's character in this film and that probably led to some disappointment in The Last Jedi. The Jedi are restored to the place they should have been before the Clone Wars. Pacifists who act more like the wizards in Lord of the Rings. They were never supposed to be generals or war lords. It would be nice that the era after the sequel trilogy spends more time outlining what the Jedi are all about.
     
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  5. Ghost of Obi Wan Kenobi

    Ghost of Obi Wan Kenobi Rebel Official

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    I understand the argument here, and I agree with portions of it: recent SW films’ trend in “recycling” themes and plot points comes from ROTJ’s reusage of rebels-blowing-up-a-death-star scene, which I found sloppy.
    However, apart from that (and the cringingy-drawn-out Han rescue scene which was nearly 30 minutes long!) ROTJ is actually my favorite film of the OT. It was the first movie that made me love Star Wars and think about the deeper themes and connections. I was a lucky kid: I remember sitting down to watch the special editions, and it was like Star Wars like I had never seen it. In the background, I was hearing whispers of ‘prequels’ on the way, so re-watching the Special Editions made me look for “clues” that might be in the upcoming prequels. What I found most interesting was the redemption of this “Anakin Skywalker” character, and this changed how I saw the saga. Traditionally, movie good guys ruthlessly kill off the bad guy. But not here. I applaud George Lucas for taking the gutsy path by turning the biggest villain into a good guy in the end. Who honestly saw that coming in 1980 after watching TESB? Nobody in my family, for sure.
    So, in short, ROTJ brought a lot to the table. It had a few sloppy moments regarding recycled ANH elements, but overall a good film.
     
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