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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker General Movie Discussion

Discussion in 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' started by Trevor, May 31, 2019.

  1. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    True. Lucas was really impacted by his era, and his father always assuming he would just run the family business like a normal kid.

    Agreed. I would change the focus to, "WE can be better".
    But that's the cycle - the world will always be the same, but we can choose personally to be better.

    Because look around at life. The history of humanity. That's what happens. That's life.
    Every great success doesn't remove another evil from rising up and reigning its terror.

    What changes is whether someone will be there to stand up against it and push back. That's what the saga is really about at its core societally - one's place in society, in this never ending churn of social politics of everything horrible that Lucas saw in his age that he piled into his student film Look at Life wasn't unique. It wasn't a once in existence event that once beaten never repeats. We saw it before his years in pre-Nazi Germany, and we see it again in our current time.
    It doesn't go away. It just subsides for a while, but it always comes back because newer generations forget eventually. Conditions change enough that the same evil is unrecognizable. And as Anakin shows us in metaphor, the attempt to banish it from existence through absolute rule leads to an authoritarian paradox which itself becomes the very evil it set out to prevent from occurring.

    Evil always happens again. The same evils happen again. We don't invent new ones. It's always the same one. Demonization, hate, power hunger, want for control, suffering, patriotism... We just articulate it with newer weapons, newer political devices, newer languages and names, and upon a newer people. Every great evil of society has always been done in the name of doing greatness for society to save it from the demons of a people who stand to ruin society. So claim the great evil saviors of society. What's worse...some aren't even aware they're being evil.

    So yes. It is inevitable after all. It has happened before. It is happening now. And it will happen again.

    No one can change that. What you can change is you and what you choose to do when the moment shows itself in your society.
    You can choose to follow the expectations put upon you, or you can determine your own choice based on your own moral weights of humanity.
    You can listen and accept it's not easy, or choose to try to stop it from ever happening again with absolutism. You can choose to attack those whom you are told are evil, or you can refuse to negate your humanity when you see them. You can choose to accept that you can't do anything because you're no one, or that you come from the very people everyone suffers from, or you can believe in yourself and stand against it regardless of your pedigree.

    But it will come back.
    History repeats itself. Or said in similar ilk as Lucas...
    "History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme." - Mark Twain.

    George Lucas' comment on TFA was about not bringing in new space ships, or pushing the technological boundary of anything in it.
    Lucas' story, which we know now, also rephrases the same conversation.

    What it did differently, notably, was add another layer to the conversation. In each trilogy Lucas talks about a different layer of reality.
    In the original trilogy it was one's place in society. In the sequel trilogy it was the role of society to the people. In his third, it would have been cosmic - the relationship of action and history in context to the cosmic design or way of the universe.

    That's the big shift, really. It's more that Lucas would have commented on the cycling of events as yet another cycle unfolds.
    Individual (OT).
    World (PT).
    History (ST).

    That's basically what his large-scale themes would be had he done his ST.
    It's still there, you can see that they did actually take that note from him and put that in - history and the meta-narrative of the cycles having happened before is definitely there. Almost everyone in the story is consumed with history.

    The major thing missing there is Lucas' religious aspects, most of which are entirely absent from the ST. The ST is about as atheist as the saga has ever been.
    Lucas believes in a sort of deism of a kind to some level, and had intended to bring the Whills into this, which would push the whole conversation towards some sort of cosmic hope - sure things keep happening and the cycles keep repeating, but have hope - it's cosmic by design...some sort of flavoring along those lines.

    The problem is, if you read through his ideas...folks like you would have some issues, because...

    I wasn't saying that the characters are fatalist.
    I was saying that the history of society is fatalist. That's how the saga sees it. The human experience is fatalist, and therefore relatable - we are able to tell the same basic set of stories over and over through millions of films, books, and plays ad nauseum with only really the superficial layer truly changing much, and so therefore human society is itself fatalist. Evil will always be present. There isn't a possible future where evil doesn't rear up, and there isn't a future where people won't forget how it happened before, and instead only remember the facts and not their value or meaning - thereby allowing for the same evil to happen again.

    A thousand years from now there will still be someone in power like Kim Jong Un. There will be a people in some society somewhere being oppressed by a bias against them as a people. There will be powerful governments causing wars by their very attempts to stop wars, and there will be leaders of government who can't help but take advantage of the seats of power for their own personal gain.

    And there will still be hate.

    The saga is extremely fatalist. What it isn't fatalist about is the individual.
    The individual has choice. They are not fated to some predestined end. It is up to each to choose and do so nobly.

    When I said that the saga was fatalist, I wasn't talking about the individuals. I was talking about the universe the individuals inhabit in the saga.

    That said, however, here's why I said that I don't think you would have liked Lucas' ST.
    Lucas' ST was all about the Whills as the commentary on society.
    And in so doing, whether he intended it to be so or not, he essentially ripped free-will out from every character who ever graced the saga.

    "[The next three Star Wars films] were going to get into a microbiotic world. But there’s this world of creatures that operate differently than we do. I call them the Whills. And the Whills are the ones who actually control the universe. They feed off the Force.
    Ultimately what this means is we were just cars, vehicles for the Whills to travel around in….We’re vessels for them. And the conduit is the midichlorians. The midichlorians are the ones that communicate with the Whills. The Whills, in a general sense, they are the Force… All the way back to—with the Force and the Jedi and everything." - George Lucas

    Now, to a ton of people, that's going to come off that free-will just got vaporized out of Star Wars.
    You can back pedal and explain how it's not, but if you have to explain how having a controller of the universe piloting people around as vessels isn't violating the individual's free-will, then the free-will of the saga's universe has landed only an Ockham's razor apart from determinism...to say the least.

    And as Lucas said about his own story.
    "A lot of fans would have hated it." - George Lucas

    And that's the biggest difference between the two. It's not really that in one ST there wouldn't be a cycle that repeats - that would have been there in either version.

    The biggest difference is that Lucas would deliver a story that he full well knew a bunch of fans hated and he wouldn't have cared that a bunch of fans hated it.
    Disney will never do that. They will never release a film they wrote knowing that what they wrote is going to be hated by a massive volume of the population.
    Divisive? Sure. They'll do that. That's business speak for 'it'll do the unexpected, shock people, generate a buzz'. They'll do things thinking that will happen.

    But they're not an independent artist at heart - they have always been, from their earliest days of scrounging by, about mass appeal.

    Iger and Lucas each say that this was the biggest critical difference between the approaches.
    Disney wanted to make a film for the fans, while Lucas wanted to make a film that a lot of fans would hate.

    That's the biggest difference...well...aside from the other one I already noted. That the ST is the first trilogy in the saga to be basically silent on the topic of religion and spirituality. Johnson made a bit of a commentary on it in TLJ, but it's really soft and vague and as a whole the trilogy doesn't really take a stance on the subject in any sort of tonal or thematic manner.

    The Force is more just a magic power like Harry Potter - something some people use for good and others use for bad.
    It's more of a mirror reflection of the person using the Force than a thing unto itself that one connects to and is shaped by their interaction with it. It's there...ish...the commentary, but it's definitely less graceful and less pronounced than in Lucas' renditions.

    So anyway, the point was that fatalism, firstly, wasn't about an individual when I wrote that, and secondly, I don't think you may have liked Lucas' ST...maybe you would?...because it really dangerously threatens to bring fatalism down from just being a property of the universe into being a property of the individual. Something that was absolutely lacking in the previous two trilogies (though, now knowing that idea he was bringing to the ST...the midichlorians bit is a tad more ominous).

    In that universe, I think I'd prefer to be a muggle like Han Solo. At least I'd be more free and not being driven or ridden around in by a bunch of microbial controllers of the universe.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
    #941 Jayson, Mar 2, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2021
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  2. eeprom

    eeprom Prince of Bebers

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    And that’s where you and I disagree. From my perspective, it’s all one in the same. We ARE society. There’s no separation. There’s no ‘us’ and ‘them’. It’s all connected. There isn’t a shred of doubt for me that’s what Lucas is getting at. The social, the spiritual, the personal. They’re simply expressions of the same exact thing. They follow the same ebbs and flows. The conflict inside of us is no different than the conflict between us. In ourselves, in our homes, in our communities, and nations and the world at large. It’s ALL connected.

    “moving stones around is one thing. This is totally different.”
    “No! No different! Only different in your mind.”

    We’re all, each of us, at every level, victims of our own conditioning, living our lives in predictable destructive patterns. But we don’t have to. We can strive to be better at EVERY level. Not just the personal. That’s the allegory. That’s why the galaxy is at war with itself. WE are at war with ourselves. We are struggling between light and dark and so is the society we’ve created. It’s an extension of our own inner turmoil. But it can be improved just as we can improve ourselves. It’s no different. The separation only exists in your mind.
    And the same exact thing can be said for self-destructive personal behavior. We are our own worst enemies. We can acquiesce to that. We can accept that as immutable. Or we can do something about it. And that’s what Star Wars is about. It’s about people recognizing the world, as it is, is broken and doing something about it. To change it. To make it better. Not from a place of resignation, but in stark revolution of it.

    Just as Lucas himself wanted to fight against the Hollywood system. To defy its convention and make films on his own terms, so too do the rebels of his stories want the same: too effect change. To challenge authority. To question the arbitrary rules and boundaries that were set up beforehand. To keep what works, throw away what doesn’t, and build something new. Not just for themselves, but for the societal structure that affects us all.
    I seriously doubt his reservations about being involved in Disney’s idea of sequels was only predicated on what the spaceships looked like.

    “they wanted to do a retro movie. I don't like that. I like -- every movie I work very hard to make them different, to make them completely different with different planets, with different spaceships, with different -- you know, to make it new."

    He wanted to “make it new”. Disney didn’t. That’s the takeaway. You can interpret that to only apply to base aesthetics if you want. I don’t.
    We “know” next to nothing. We have vague inklings based on cryptic statements. We have loose ideas and ill-defined notions. We don’t know what form the story would have actually taken on.
    And I’m saying there’s an artificial separation that you’re creating that the story doesn’t. They’re all extensions of each other. One effecting the other. Influencing the other. Going through the same motions of corruption and redemption - mirroring one another.
    Awfully optimistic of you to presume there will still be people around a thousand years from now :)
    And that’s how evil wins. By convincing you to accept its inevitability. That’s how people convince themselves to remain in their self-destructive mindsets. They don’t believe it can be any better.
    And that choice to be better isn’t an isolated incident. It can grow. It can affect others. It can influence society. We can all be better as a result.
    I know. I’m saying the distinction you’re making doesn’t exist. It’s an illusion. It’s a limitation that you’ve constructed and isn’t what’s actually being promoted.
    I find it interesting that rarely anyone provides the context to that statement. To bother addressing what led him to make it. They just pick out that part and don’t want to waste their time speaking to what the point of it was. Cameron and Lucas were discussing artificial intelligence and what larger fate that might spell for humanity. Lucas, as per usual, landed on the concept of ‘equilibrium’. Coexistence.

    “Everybody hated it in Phantom Menace [when] we started to talk about midi-chlorians. There's a whole aspect to that movie that is about symbiotic relationships. To make you look and see that we aren't the boss. That there's an ecosystem here.”

    THAT’S what George is talking about concerning the Whills. An ecosystem. A symbiosis on a cosmic scale. One that we’re all a part of whether we know it or not. ‘Balance’ then. That’s what his sequels would focus on. The nature of this ‘balance’ he was prattling about in the PT. To again reiterate that we are not the center of the universe. There’s something larger than us. Something grander. And through it, we are all connected. From the smallest particle, to the largest galaxy - it’s all one in the same.
    "Remember, a Jedi can feel the Force flowing through him."
    "You mean it controls your actions?"
    "Partially, but it also obeys your commands."

    "Use the Force, Luke. Let go, Luke."

    "The Whills, in a general sense, they are the Force"

    The idea that you can defer to the Force and allow it to drive you, to take the wheel (as it were), has been there from the start. That’s nothing new. To go beyond that and assert that the Force overrides personal choice, sorry, I don’t believe that’s what he’s saying. No back pedaling needed. It’s just a shifted perspective. We’d get clued in to the other side of that relationship.
    A lot of people seem to hate TLJ. I say ‘seem to’ since it’s most likely a vocal minority. No different than the prequel “hate”. It would be no different with George’s sequels. The fans would whine and moan, but they’d go anyway. They’d go twice or more. That’s the reality.
    But since I don’t see the them as distinct, but merely extensions of each other, you are, to me, indeed talking about the individual.
    Not your subjective interpretation of an out of context statement at any rate. But, I generally prefer to reserve judgement until I see the thing for myself. I’d absolutely love to get a gander at those treatments someday and find out what weirdo musings old man Lucas was daydreaming about.
     
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  3. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    Maybe I'll respond more to the rest at another time, but I feel it's ultimately to two things that I wanted to touch on real quick...

    Your evil is not everyone's evil, and belief is a base function of our neurological processes as information routes through the prefrontal lobe and through the amygdala for value weighting for assessment and judgement.
    The only way that you can effectively rid the human race of either belief or evil is to give the entire species a prefrontal lobotomy.

    As long as humans have personalization capacity to and with experience, there will be evil because you don't get to control what evil is, nor to whom it is and isn't evil.

    They aren't the same. Society is comprised of individuals, and individuals are wild variables that are not controllable to a fundamental level capable of reshaping an entire society by the moral goodness of its population beyond a dozen to a few dozen individuals in a small collective...at best.

    If the two could be conflated as equivalent, then the world would have rid itself of all of its ailments thousands upon thousands of years ago and we wouldn't be human, but instead ants or bees. That is to say, a totalitarian species that doesn't even consider any other alternative.

    You can choose to see society and the individual as indistinct, but I can tell you that your view of what your society is, is different from my view of what your society is. And just in that alone, I have distinctly separated the two. And simply by one human existing who places a distinction where another human does not, you have a distinction between an individual and society.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
  4. eeprom

    eeprom Prince of Bebers

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    Strange I have to write this another time. I never said anything about ridding the human race of evil. I’m talking about the minimization of what leads to it. Improvement. Just as we can improve ourselves as individuals, so can society too improve itself as the product of us, the individuals. As we figure our own s**t out, so too does the cultural construct we’ve built around ourselves. You don’t agree with that and that’s perfectly fine.
    Because so many people have rid themselves of all their own personal ailments? No. Of course not. And in all likelihood, never will. But whatever progress they’ve made toward personal betterment still counts. It still matters. And the same can be said for humanity as well. A steady, arduous, fraught, never easy or simple climb toward a greater actualization. One that we may never reach, but is worth striving for just the same.
    Jesus, dude. A hive mind? That’s what you’re getting out of the prospect of continuous improvement?
     
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  5. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    The diversity of humanity at the individual layer is what leads to evil. You can't minimize that to the point that there's no distinct difference between society and a human.

    Lacking distinction between the individual and society is, to me, an evil.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
    #945 Jayson, Mar 3, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2021
  6. eeprom

    eeprom Prince of Bebers

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    There’s no distinction between the two →IN…THE…STORY←

    In the story of Star Wars, the fate of the Republic (the society) is a direct reflection of the fate of Anakin (the individual). They are inexorably linked. As Anakin (the individual) falls farther toward the darkside, led astray by his fear and desire to control what can’t be controlled, so too does the Republic (the society).

    As Anakin (the individual) loses all connection to his noble purpose and becomes the antithetical Vader, so too does the Republic (the society) lose its noble purpose and become the antithetical Empire.

    As that nobility, lost by Anakin (the individual), is inherited by Luke and used to vanquish Vader, so too is the nobility, lost by the Republic (the society), inherited by the Rebellion and used to vanquish the Empire.

    The two layers are intentionally paired. The fate of one is the fate of the other. That’s not a happy accident. It was on purpose. It’s allegory. It’s metaphor. It’s analogy.

    That’s not, in any way, to say that personal identity and sense of self is subservient to some master collective or whatever the hell you're talking about. It’s to say that the two aren’t as disconnected as you might think. That WE aren’t as disconnected as you might think.

    Society has a soul too. And it can become just as corrupted as any of ours. The lessons we learn and the tools we gather to fend against that on a personal level are the same to be used at the social level. Deep down, it’s all the same conflict. It comes from the same place and it's combatted in the same way.
     
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  7. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    Then you misunderstood my point earlier perhaps.

    What I said was that the society is fatalist and the individual is not in the saga.
    To which you answered that the two are not separate.

    I have no issues with their narrative themes being paired together to represent the connection an individual has in their choices upon society.

    That, however, means nothing to the saga's position of society cycling ever more through the same situations as being fatalist while at the same time it is not fatalist with respect to the individual's choice in response to such events.

    There is distinction between the repetitive events of society, and the choices of an individual. The choices of the individual are not bound by the recurrence of societal events, and the recurrence of events in society is not prevented its occurrence by the choices of the individual.

    It's even fatalist unto the individual that they will have to go through certain choices. However, what they choose is not predetermined in its perspective.

    My assertion of the saga being fatalist was, as I stated, that the cycles will be repeated. At no point does that mean the saga is fatalist about individual choice.

    If your position is that the saga is not asserting a cyclical nature of events then I disagree with you phenomenologically.

    If your position is that such cycling is not fatalist, then I simply disagree with you taxonomically.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
  8. eeprom

    eeprom Prince of Bebers

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    In the course of everyone’s lives, we all encounter several similar critical situations. That’s a guarantee. The hope is that we use our past experience in those situations in order to better address them the next time they’re encountered. That’s how we grow and evolve - as individuals AND as a people.

    Fatalism is the concept that the result of those situations is already predetermined. There is no changing them. There is no growth. It was already decided before we got here. We are powerless to affect the outcome. It can only be whatever it was designed to be. And that is NOT the message behind Star Wars. Not even close.

    It isn’t fatalist to acknowledge that we will continually be forced to address the same hardships and dilemmas over and over again. That’s not what that term means. What’s fatalist is the resignation that the product of those dilemmas will always be the same.
     
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  9. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    It's pretty fatalist, to me, to say that no matter what anyone chooses, the same kind of evils will be revisited repeatedly upon the world.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  10. Jedi Knight Fett

    Jedi Knight Fett Force Attuned

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    On family lineage I think it’s a stupid message to be like everyone needs to be related for someone to be important. I think it’s a good message when you say you can overcome past family mistakes like Luke not being Vader, Rey not being Palpatine.
     
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  11. Martoto

    Martoto Rebel Official

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    I've never once got the impression that Star Wars was telling us that you need to be part of a significant family lineage to be important. Neither do I feel it needs to tell us the opposite.
     
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  12. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    Yep.
    It's always just been part of its soap opera nature to me, a device for talking about pressure from the past, and for good old melodrama shticks.

    But then again, people got mad at ESB for pretty much the same thing after identifying with the 'Luke Everyman' vibe they got from ANH.

    So...meh. Oh well.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  13. Martoto

    Martoto Rebel Official

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    I would say that Star Wars had already undermined that the moment Obi-Wan revealed to Luke that his father was the best star pilot in the galaxy, a ware hero/famed wizard /warrior Jedi knight and former colleague of LORD Vader. You could even argue that the "Skywalker saga" commenced the moment Luke vowed to live up to that heritage. "There's nothing for me here. I want to learn the ways of the force and become a Jedi like my father."

    I think that it was this transition that Rian Johnson was alluding to with Rey in the Last Jedi.
     
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  14. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    On the other hand

    Those scenes read very differently in 77.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  15. Martoto

    Martoto Rebel Official

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    I'm not sure about that. The droids crossing paths with Luke seemed like a detour at the time. But when that chance meeting leads him to some huge truths about his father's true (in part) career history and to be absent when his parents are killed, Luke's stature in the story, not just the plot of Star Wars, blew up considerably.

    Before that he was just joe-everyman with the usual youthful ambitions and dreams for horizon expansion, but still pretty grounded and bound to his seemingly unassuming origins. I don't think the movie would have been as impactful in 1977 if leaving Alderann was little more than a pragmatic move for Luke at that point in the story. i.e. "I want to come with you to Alderann. There's nothing for me here. My bedroom is full of smoke and I don't know where Uncle Owen kept the check book meaning I can't keep up with the payments on vaporator hire. And to be honest I'm a lousy farmer so I might as well come with you now." The revelation of what Luke's father really was validated his ambitions and made it "Well of course you're going to be a Jedi knight instead of a farmer."

    In the Force Awakens they kind of allude to this when they get to Takodana and Rey is ready to head back as if to say "Just because it was expedient to get the droid off the planet and away from his pursuers by stealing the Falcon, doesn't mean I'm not going back to Jakku (where she believes her destiny lies waiting for her parents to return)." ..... Unless.

    Luke's status as a hapless and unconnected supporting character was far more brief. (I think it's a bout two or three minutes film time covers meeting Ben and learning about his father and declining to go to Alderann and then choosing to go)

    The nature of the Jedi and the Republic/Empire that it and Luke's father served, as described in the prequels, perhaps changed the reading more than anything.

    In what way do you think the reading has changed?

    TLDR?

    Luke learning that he had an illustrious father definitely kicked his involvement in the story into a vaulted position back in 77.
     
    #955 Martoto, Mar 4, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2021
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  16. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Jedi Contrarian

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    I totally have, and that's why I don't blame fans who were mad when TLJ came out, even though I don't agree with that anger, nor do I think it was wholly because Star Wars was breaking its own trends.

    I don't think the OT had that message, but I think the PT and between twenty to forty years of E.U. material really did.

    I think that's part of why people were so peeved at Luke in ST, specifically in TLJ - we skipped all of the cool adventuring and teaching parts of his career that would have taken place at the prime of his power for the jaded old man in a mid-life crisis. We traded out what could have been Awesome Action Luke - the Luke people have probably dreamed about seeing in live action for decades - for Jaded, Let Me Do One Thing Luke.* We traded out something we saw previously for something entirely skipped over, and as such is deemed as worse.

    That's part of why people were expecting Rey to be a somebody, to have a heritage. Because for dozens of books and comics - the only form of Star Wars around between trilogies until TCW came out - that's all there really was. There were dozens of books on Jacen, Jaina, and Anakin Solo. Dozens of books on Mara Jade Skywalker and Ben Skywalker. And then we got comics on Cade Skywalker, the Imperial Knights and how the Solo family tied into that, and finally Ania Solo. Occasionally there'd be a cool spin-off like Knight Errant or the KOTOR comic tie-in. But the staples of the Star Wars genre were always centered around the Skywalker/Solo clan. So why should the movies be any different?

    We had roughly five generations of Skywalkers and Solos/Fels impacting the galaxy, and for decades at a time those were the only Star Wars stories around. The ST seemed to be looking to change that - they moved the old E.U. to the non-canon-but-still-publishable Legends brand, and started from scratch in the post-OT era. They introduced new characters that weren't related to old names like Skywalker, Solo, Kenobi, or Palpatine. Even still - and in no small part due to JJ's Mystery Box - Rey's heritage was the big talking point after TFA.

    But then TLJ hammered in the theme of lack of legacy hard, with Kylo even telling Rey that she has "no place in this story," because she's not from some sort of bloodline.

    And just like Luke says, every word Kylo said about that was wrong (later to be proven in all the wrong ways). Going in the direction that TLJ set up, Rey's direction in the story wasn't going to be based off of some legacy, but what she herself brought to the table. Intrinsic worth, not inherited worth. But do you remember how many people were still annoyed by this? It's not because the twist was bad, but rather because Star Wars has conditioned us to think that family ties equate to power and legacy. (Oh, and naming the trilogy of trilogies the "Skywalker Saga," and NOT having the face of your latest trilogy be a Skywalker via bloodline like everyone else at that point was simply unimaginable.)


    But the problem with TROS is that it completely reneges on this sort of thinking. Rey is a "nobody" as a front to hide who she "really" is. Her powers, her compulsion to the Dark Side...it's all because of her heritage.

    The ST probably really wanted to focus on that "where you come from doesn't matter," but it sure doesn't act like that...unless your name is Finn, of course.


    *Again, I understand and sympathize, but don't agree. Luke's confrontation with Kylo in TLJ was absolutely the most Jedi thing he could have done.
     
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  17. Jedi Knight Fett

    Jedi Knight Fett Force Attuned

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    No I think it was important that Vader was Luke’s dad. Just don’t think it should have been repeated again with Rey. And almost repeated again with Lando. I like the message that anyone can become important.
     
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  18. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    I've talked to quite a few folks who were older during the initial gap from 77 to 80 and felt there was a definite swing in message from "Luke Anyman" to "Luke of Destined Lineage".
    More so than talked to, however, I remember it being a topic of adults and older kids when I was in my tiny days. Most of their commentary went over my head at the time, but in reflection as I grew it made more sense what was being talked about.

    That blip kind of went the way of the dodo as the phenomenon of Star Wars became just mammothly larger than any possible initial disappointment people had with ESB, but even Hammill remarks on the initial kick back with ESB and being thankful that the internet didn't exist yet by that point because the whole lineage bit tying the characters all together and making Luke somewhat inevitable wasn't immediately greatly received by quite a number of folks - which is really hard to see now with ESB so regularly being heralded as the best Star Wars film of all time by so many.

    But yeah, there definitely was a similar "Rey Nobody" style TROS disappointment kickback when ESB came out.
    I don't know how big it was or not as there's no real way to gauge that unless you're perhaps someone with access to the Lucasfilm archives and the volume of fanmail from the period was preserved, then you might be able to get a view.

    My hunch is it wasn't huge by any stretch. I know there was a decent kickback on Vader being Luke's father in general for a variety of reasons, but for the reasons of the shift on "Luke Anyman" is something that I don't know how big of a connection that was.

    But, I think it's worth keeping in mind that in 77, a lot of people would relate to having a father who was in a war and didn't make it back, while themselves just being a country bumpkin who could relate to having to wrestle with the weight of determining whether to join a war, or the resistance of it...1968 was something that just happened.

    So that whole thing really reads completely differently when your social climate is on the heels of Vietnam, and your parental generation is from the Korean and second World War and society is in the vapors from the throw down about duty to country and society, conscription, totalitarian over-reach of foreign policy, patriotic disillusion, etc... all that goes with it.

    But again, I doubt the anger over the switch was very big, but I also think the "Luke Anyman" reading was probably the typical reading of the film in '77. Having a war hero father who was known by a guy in the countryside you lived in wasn't exactly rare at that point.
    This is a period where a lot of people's dad's died in wars, or their grandfathers died in one, and urbanization was only just reaching a saturation point that was creating a nostalgia for the countryside...in other words, people remembered their youth in the country life still...quite a few.

    So, there's a definite different read, I think, in 77 of Luke than we see now, or even was true of the X-Gen and later who would always see Luke in a three-part epic and never have a chance to conceive of Luke as only what's in one film.

    If you completely shut your mind off from everything, and go saturate yourself with 1968 through 1977 society documentaries until you're just mind-numb from doing it, and then turn on ANH (btw...this is a pretty fun way to watch the film), it really kind of pops in an entirely different way and reads quite differently.
    That doesn't mean that's what Lucas was saying...what I mean is Lucas wasn't there to explain to everyone what they just saw and how to take it. They read into it and held personal relationships of understanding the film based on their social context and understanding...just like so many thought that Palps in the PT was George Bush for a while even though that's not at all what Lucas was deriving from.

    That got squashed relatively fast because of the internet, but back in 77 the primary similar form of communication there is magazines, fan groups, and a hotline you could dial for the latest blip of something (even if it was just Harrison Ford saying hello on a recording).

    Anyway, point is, if you put on your Vietnam/Son of Sam era blinders and look at ANH, it's a pretty different film than if you're wearing your Max Headroom, Nirvana, or 9/11 goggles. There's no real compelling part in ANH that yells at that audience that Luke is a special star child of legendary lore. He's just a country kid with a dead war dad he wishes he was more like in a world torn up by war he's not sure he can take part in, but wants to help and do something more with his life and gets whisked away on an adventure once he commits to joining up after the effects of the war become personal.

    Look at it as a Vietnam war movie, because George Lucas said he wrote it as one, and when you do ... it's a very different film than what it became as more art was added to the saga over time. If you watch Look at Life and then A New Hope, you can more easily see how Lucas initially saw ANH as a Vietnam war film.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  19. risastór

    risastór Clone

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    to me it seemed a bit contrived, like plot armour, why couldnt she just be a dirt farmer from tattoine light, maybe not dress her like luke in a new hope or recycle the same basic story
     
  20. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    Star Wars is one of the most contrived stories out there. It literally has book after book of explanations as to why extremely convenient contrivances aren't such.
    At some point, one of those contrivances is bound to bother any given person.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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