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Star Wars and the Ring Theory

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Darth Wardawg, Nov 28, 2018.

  1. Darth Wardawg

    Darth Wardawg Rebel Official

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    So I've been thinking about this for a while. I was first introduced to the idea of "chiastic structure" being used in Star Wars a couple of years ago. While I didn't totally buy into it at first, I have to say the more I think about it, and the more I read the theory as developed by Mike Klimo, the more it makes sense to me.

    And the more respect I have for both the PT and George Lucas. What do you all think about this? I'm curious as to what some of the other super fans on here think of "ring theory."
     
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  2. DarthSnow

    DarthSnow Knows Nothing
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    Could you expand on this a bit for those of us not familiar with these ideas? I am intrigued and know roughly what you are talking about with chiastic structure and ring theory, but not exactly how that applies to Star Wars.
     
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  3. Crusifix

    Crusifix Rebel General

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    First I've heard of it.
     
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  4. daRinze

    daRinze Rebel Official

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    Te chiastic structure is basically when an extreme refers to the other extreme, and so on, going towards the centre.

    In the SW saga that means:
    - episode I refers to episode 6,
    - episode 2 refers to episode 5,
    - episode 3 refers to episode 4.

    [​IMG]



    check this page (it's useless to repeat what is perfectly said there) : https://www.starwarsringtheory.com/
    the first demonstration, who compares episode 1 first minutes and episode 6 first minutes, will blow you :) :)
     
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  5. Rogues1138

    Rogues1138 Jedi General

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    A poem, it rhymes... I would change TPM = ANH, ROTS = ROTJ... lol maybe

    What this means is that the sequence of elements (or episodes) starts with The Phantom Menaceand progresses to Revenge of the Sith, where events come to a crucial midpoint. Then, the ring turns and the first sequence (ABC) is repeated in reverse order (C’B’A’), bringing the story full circle back to the beginning.

    oh, ok, nice...
     
    #5 Rogues1138, Nov 29, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
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  6. DarthSnow

    DarthSnow Knows Nothing
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    Very cool. Thank you @daRinze !!
     
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  7. daRinze

    daRinze Rebel Official

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    it does, in a certain way:
    - Anakin and Luke are nobodies, they live on a desert planet, they have personal dramas in their respective life
    - they both discover they have in fact a huge potentiality they didn't know
    - then a mentor comes (Ben Kenobi / Qui Gon), start to train them, and then, dies. The rest of the training is then assigned to another mentor.
    - the movie ends on a huge action from them due to their new power

    The ring theory rather works in terms of visual effects.
     
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  8. Darth Wardawg

    Darth Wardawg Rebel Official

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    Sorry, I just saw the response and I see @daRinze replied. Chiastic structure is used in the bible, the Qu'ran, I think even Gilgamesh and Beowulf as well. Like @daRinze said, you get an A,B,C,C,B,A structure, at least as far as the ST and PT is concerned. Mike Klimo has a HUGE essay on the web in which he goes over the evidence for this (although he also notes that Lucas has never publicly mentioned it at all).

    To summarize Mike's essay, everyone noted the similarities between TPM and ANH. Desert planet, young boy with force powers, etc... The endings of the two are also similar, etc. However, while Phantom IS similar to A New Hope, it is actually a mirror image, so to speak, of Return of the Jedi. The openings are mirror images of each other (Vader's shuttle moves from right to left, the shuttle with Obi-Wan and Qui Gon moves from left to right)... In Phantom you have two Jedi on the shuttle, in Jedi you have a former Jedi. In Phantom you have Palpatine laying a trap for Padme and crew, which they fall into (they get him elected). In Jedi, the trap is set for Luke, and he jumps in. Of course the two traps end very differently in that Luke is able to "spring the trap" and Palpatine falls.

    I'm linking his essay here so you all can read it. I think you'll find it extremely fascinating. I know it made me rewatch the PT over the Thanksgiving break and wow.

    http://www.starwarsringtheory.com/ring-composition-chiasmus-hidden-artistry-star-wars-prequels/
     
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  9. Cunir

    Cunir Rebel Trooper

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    interesting theory, but it would be more believable if Lucas directed all the movies. I can’t see the director of ROTJ obeying Lucas’s instructions about all the shots and camera angles he had to have in the first five minutes.
     
  10. Too Bob Bit

    Too Bob Bit Force Sensitive

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    The director of ROTJ doesn't have to.

    Only the Prequel Trilogy (which was made after) has to mirror and reference the shots of the OT. And Lucas directed all of it.

    Ring Theory is only about how the PT connects with the OT. I doubt when GL was making the OT he was structuring it around ring composition. It's only when structuring the prequels that it becomes a thing.

    Think of it as like free-form writing your first verse. And then writing your second verse to follow (or invert) the structure you've just created.

    Besides, I think you underestimate Lucas's involvement in the the OT episodes. The director follows a shooting script and a storyboard, which I'm sure GL had a lot of say in.
     
    #10 Too Bob Bit, Nov 29, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
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  11. Cunir

    Cunir Rebel Trooper

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    Oh yeah, of course. That was me being a bit dim!
     
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  12. Darth Wardawg

    Darth Wardawg Rebel Official

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    Exactly. In essence Lucas wrote episode IV, or the "A" portion. He also wrote, with some assistance, the "B" portion of the OT. As for "C", Jedi, we know there were issues between him and Marquand, as well as between him and Irvin Kirshner (did I spell that correctly? I hope so). But again, the real work comes into play when coming back around on the other side of the "ring." That is where you mirror Episode I to VI, II to V and III to IV.

    With the PT and OT, it helps if you see it as a descent into darkness, and then a rise out of said darkness.

    I know some don't see it, but there is no doubt, in my mind, that Phantom mirrors Jedi. Here is a good shot that can't be, in my mind, coincidence:

    Phantom Jedi 1.png

    Two Jedi enter the trade federation ship, looking mysterious and the door opens horizontally. In the image on the right, a lone Jedi enters Jabba's palace, door opens vertically.

    As Mike notes, at exactly 9 minutes into both films we see this:


    2.png

    Palpatine, the villain, looks to the right. Luke, the hero, looks to the left. Both are hologram projections. Coincidence or not? I can't see both of these being mere coincidences.

    As I went through the films over the break I really began to appreciate what George did with the PT. Yeah, the dialogue was less than good. But to go through and meticulously do this? Wow.
     
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  13. daRinze

    daRinze Rebel Official

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    Yes. Precisely, one has to understand TWO kinds of mirroring are applying at the same time :
    - In terms of visual, as @Darth Wardawg said and Mike Klimo demonstrated, in terms of visual storytelling, in terms of pictures and movie editing, there is an obvious chiastic structure: TPM - RotJ, AotC - ESB, RotS - ANH. @Darth Wardawg perfectly nails it when he says:
    - In terms of pure semantic, the cards are scrambled because the structure now appears to be a classic poetry structure: ABC A'B'C', I mean : if one relies on words and only words, one immediately notices troubling similarities between the titles, following now the order 123-456 : menace/hope , attack/strike, revenge+sith/return+jedi.

    In fact, Lucas used and mixed the two structures, to build the PT directly according to the structure of the OT.
    As it is stated in the linked page above, this is unprecedented in movie industry. George Lucas did something no one had never done before him, and I doubt one will do it in the close future. There is more than a simple "story continuum" that links the 6 movies, there is something far above, a manner of filming and editing the movies, a manner of introducing the stories, that mixes the mythological (chiastic structure) and the poetry (classic structure).
     
    #13 daRinze, Nov 30, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
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  14. lealt

    lealt Rebel Official

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    I am sure TFA is not the copy, but an imagine reflected in a mirror of ANH. With details flipped.

    And it does the same with some bits of ep. III. Those mirror scenes, however, are far more oblique than it may look at first sight, even tho some lines/quotes are directly referenced. Verbatim.

    All the scenes Poe/Finn at the beginning are mirror scenes of those of Anakin/Obi Wan in 3.
    They are visually and thematically. In 3 you see how a bromance ends, in 7 how it begins.
    Finn starts a new life escaping the first order and changing his name. Obi Wan is forced to give up his life because his order failed and to change name. They both believe Poe/Anakin had died.
    they both take something with them after watching Poe/Anakin disappearing underground. The lightsaber/the jacket.
    Before of that, in 3 Anakin manages an impossible landing, while saying that it doesn’t matter if he knows how to drive that ship. Poe proclaims he can fly anything but he and Finn crash. In 3 Anakin and Obi Was are freeding Sidius, in 7 Poe and Finn are escaping, freeding themselves.
    Then, 3 ends with Obi Wan arriving on Tatooine at night, with baby Luke that he leaves there.
    Of course, he knows everything about that baby,
    Finn is left on Jakku. It’s daylight while he’s walking trough the desert planet. Then, he meets a girl he knows nothing about.
    Etc... Rey mirrors Luke, because she does (always) the contrary of what Luke did in IV. So does BB8 if compared to R2.
    Just to say one thing: Luke is left unconscious on the ground and saved by Obi Wan, while R2 is hiding, scared. Rey pushes Finn (that was hiding) on the ground and BB8 attacks him too.
    Obi Wan says that Luke had a bad day. Finn tells Rey he had a bad day.
    Then Obi Wan tells Luke how his father had died. But Obi Wan knows it’s a lie.
    Finn does the same telling BB8 how his master had die. He doesn’t know, that’s not true.

    And so on for most of the movie.

    It’s a mind trick indeed.

    I don’t think TLJ follows that path. Sure there are references to previous movies.
    But those should have been II and V only... in TLJ we also have references to VI.
    In addition, I don’t see that kind of obsession that informed TFA.
    That was JJ stuff.

    And knowing that the production name of ep IX is TrIXie (=> trick? mind/visual trick) I believe he may be playing with that again. Which would make total sense imo.
     
    #14 lealt, Nov 30, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
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  15. Darth Wardawg

    Darth Wardawg Rebel Official

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    It does, in some ways at least, appear that JJ and Kasdan did at least try and do some of the ring narrative themselves, although I'm not actually sure that they were attempting to "ring" the story as much as simply trying to copy major elements from A New Hope. I'm not sure I have that much faith in JJ as a writer. One would think Kasdan would understand the "hero's journey" and the chiastic nature of the story, or I would hope he does. I'd have to sit down and seriously watch/consider TFA. Especially as TFA would need to follow Jedi and Phantom. Remember, the rhyming is thus: "A,B,C,C,B,A." So the next two trilogies ought to be "A,B,C,C,B,A" once again. Although I suppose they could go "C,B,A,A,B,C" if they wanted to although in my mind that doesn't make much sense.

    I don't think such a rewatch, however, would be necessary for TLJ, and I'm not trying to bash TLJ, although I just did. We will, however, see where they go with IX. IF they are following the overall ring/chiastic narrative structure, then we ought to get a film that is very dark. We would be at the midpoint of a second set of six films, thus things should be in darkness and the second set should be the rise out of darkness. I think it would be fair to say then that Kylo should be full on dark side. Rey should be defeated and, perhaps, dead. It should mirror III, although I'd say that instead of the dark sider being almost defeated and left for half dead, that should be the light side representative, Rey.

    It's too early in the morning on a Friday to be exerting so much brain power. LOL But seriously, I am truly enjoying this conversation.
     
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  16. Crusifix

    Crusifix Rebel General

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    The circle is complete. Now I am the Master.
     
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  17. daRinze

    daRinze Rebel Official

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    You could be right. Not sure the Ring Theory can be expanded to the Sequel Trilogy, as this part was not in GL's mind when he wrote the PT.
     
  18. lealt

    lealt Rebel Official

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    I believe you are not wrong... but I’d say, it’s more on the shoulders of the ST directors.
    You can, somehow, if you want. And given what I think about 7 and more importantly that JJ is back for IX... it’s possible.
    So far, we know
    that we’re going to get a desert plant and a jungle planet. So, = to 1 (not only 4) and 6.
    In addition, we know about some “guerrilla” fighters hiding in the mountains (Isaac spoke about them)
    They could very well be the humankind version of the Gungans and the Hewooks.
    I think there are some chances. What I don’t know, even if I am right, is how much that would impact the story. That is another argument. One thing may serve the other. With George it was like that.
    But it’s not a given.
     
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  19. Darth Wardawg

    Darth Wardawg Rebel Official

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    The thing with the theory is that each film is a ring, and they form a ring overall. A ring of rings so to speak. The ST could be utilizing it, although I'd have to sit down and really think about it. At first glance it isn't, but that may be incorrect. I'll give it some thought and post in a day or so about it.
     
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  20. lealt

    lealt Rebel Official

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    I was re-reading the amazing Mile Klimo's analysis about the ring composition that ties ep 1-2-3 and 4-5- 6

    When I get again to this point

    Take, for instance, the opening scenes of Menace: Two Jedi, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, are sent to deliver the Chancellor’s demands in hopes of settling a conflict between the Trade Federation and the Naboo. Now compare this to the opening scenes of Jedi: Two droids, C3PO and R2D2, are sent to deliver Luke Skywalker’s message in hopes of settling the conflict between Jabba the Hutt and Han Solo.
    Lucas has taken the general plot point of two characters sent to negotiate a kind of peace deal and interpreted it in two different ways, linking the films in the process. (Lucas even uses the same narrative device in both, by presenting the early parts of each film from the perspective of two characters.)​

    I'll only add to that, that in both cases someone il held as an hostage: queen Amidala on Naboo (ep I) and Han (ep VI).

    Now... if the ring composition holds, IX has to rhyme with I and VI.
    And I remebered something...

    if that leak on reddit is true or at least close enough to the truth - and it gained a little bit of more trust recently, because the same leaker in a another post spoke about the turtle monster that MSW "confirmed" later and as something they heard from another sourche - at the end of ep IX act I we're going to have
    3 groups of people: the resistance with 2 people , Finn and Poe (plus Chewie), sent to "negotiate" something and 2 other group, that of Monaghan and that of Naomi Ackie and an hostage.
    That is what the leaker specified in a comment: "She [Naomi Ackie's character] comes in with swagger. She does not dress like Lando, she is not a smuggler and a suave gambler. She’s a scavenger type and this particular group has something the resistance wants. When she’s taking to Dom Monaghan they are negotiating as partner-types but both clearly have different intentions. Poe chimes in to Dom Monaghan’s at first displeasure, and then a sort of maniacal happy laugh. All of It is a three way negotiation between (Poe-Finn-chewie I believe roars something thought this would later be added in ADR)- (Vera and her legion)- (and Monaghan and those who more seasoned members of the clan)" and of course according to the leaker, at the end there is also an hostage: Hux.
    So the parallel holds, quite well. Even tho there are elements "flipped" - as I believe JJ did in 7 too: most notably - again if by chance all of this is close to truth -the hostage is a "villain" the rebels are acquiring not a good guy/girl they're trying to freed. In addition the location is not a palace, but it's underground just like Jabba's palace was. There are caves etc... And it looks like the people in there (Monaghan's group) has not the best pieces of technology they may get. Angain, they may even be the closest thing to - or a humankind version of - the Gungans and the Ewooks, especially if there is a kind of cohoperation, so at once, the scene and context may fit/parallel even that.. Whatever Finn may hold in his hand may be a cluster frame/point to underline the parallel with Leia holding the mine in III etc...

    I know it's stuff that has a good chance of not being confirmed, but it's fascinating
    I love those things.
     
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