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Structure of the ST is an inversion of the OT structure, with TROS as a standalone movie

Discussion in 'General Movie Discussion' started by Too Bob Bit, Jan 25, 2020.

  1. Too Bob Bit

    Too Bob Bit Force Attuned

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    Before I finally get to go and see TROS, there are some thoughts on the TLJ and how relates to the structure of the ST and the OT that I've wanted to post for a while but never got around to.

    I said in another thread that one of the things I loved about the TLJ is how - despite being a middle episode - it kind of felt like the concluding part of a duology with with TFA. But I also suggested could be compared to how the much more standalone ANH concluded (conclusive but open-ended enough to just suggest more).

    From that springs my simple observation that the basic overarching structure of the ST is, on one hand, an inversion (or mirroring) of the OT, whilst on the other hand simultaneously paralleling it.

    my speculation so far is that Episode 9 may work as a STANDALONE film at the end of the trilogy, which would be an inversion of the OT structure where ANH was the standalone film which starts the saga, itself followed by the ESB+ROTJ 'duology'.

    Basically, my 'theory' (if it can be called that!) is:
    • ANH was an opening standalone story, followed by a self-contained duology sequel taking place some years later, in which the second part continues (to all intents and purposes) directly from the second.
    • FA and TLJ are a self-contained opening duology - in which the second part takes place directly after the first - followed by what (I'm speculating!) will be a standalone sequel story taking place some years later.
    In nutshell, structured like this:

    ANH > (ESB+ROTJ) <> (TFA+TJL) > TROS

    (or Standalone|Duology -- Duology|Standalone )

    However, if you also see the TFA+TLJ duology as paralleling ANH as a whole like I first suggested, then the structure simultaneously goes in the other direction.

    ANH > (ESB/ROTJ)
    TFA/TJL > (TROS)

    Sure, it's maybe not exactly up there with 'ring theory', but it's mildly interesting I think, and there may be 'deeper' (or lets just say 'more'!) similar observations within that to be made.

    I guess my question now is can parallels be drawn between TROS and ESB+ROTJ combined? (Although I also think TFA and TLJ already parallel all three parts of the OT. But I guess on that basis that would make TROS even more standalone!)

    Anyway, it's a thought I've had around in my head for while without really ever articulating it to my satisfaction. I probably still haven't, but I wanted to get it out there before I see TROS, although it feels kind of strange posting it in a forum now where most people I'm sure have seen it already. So don't laugh if you're already thinking 'ah if only he knew' and I'm way off the mark!

    ...and I'm sure this post should go somewhere else, but I don't want to stumble across spoilers while looking for it.
     
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  2. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Force Sensitive

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    That's a super fascinating comparison you've made! I like it! How does the PT factor in this, if at all?

    I noticed that aspect too, and both respected it and was annoyed by it. It's cool, because it makes the ST feel like one, long journey. It was long-form storytelling, and I loved how Star Wars incorporated that outside of just "the next episode." But at the same time, things happened too fast (Rey trusting Kylo, Finn's recovery, the F.O.'s expansion), and it made the then-untitled Episode IX feel superfluous. I had all the endings I really needed in TLJ, why even do an Episode IX? TLJ wiped the slate clean, what is there for Episode IX to do? Obviously there was stuff to do, but the point stands. What you praise as a boon, I found to be a detriment for the idea of a trilogy. Had it been advertised as a duology + epilogue, I think it'd be a different story.

    Regardless, I really like your comparison!
     
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  3. Bluemilk

    Bluemilk I AM the Senate

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    I agree with you. TROS is an adventure in a sense where there is one threat to be disposed of and two people opposing one another for the same thing. Where in the end there is redemption, sacrifice for another and a happy ending.

    But it is also an opposite of ROTS where someone sacrifices themselves to save another. In ROTS someone pledges themselves to save someone and can't.

    But as a stand alone movie it really is.
     
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  4. Angelman

    Angelman Servant to the Whills & Slave to the Muses
    1030th Captain ** (Mod)

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    I think this is a thread for @Jayson :)
     
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  5. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Jedi General

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    Ep9 should have been used to push the story to new places, TLJ gave us that conventional Star Wars ending, but without the Dark returning to the Light. That's a wonderful setup for the next episode to play with. To give us something new, Trevorrow's script toys with that a lot more.

    Pushing ep9 into new places allows future movies to break the stale mold of what Star Wars is and can be in terms of a visual medium.
     
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  6. Jayson

    Jayson Force Sensitive

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    Good stuff. :)

    You've scratched it, now keep digging. There's a bunch more.

    Here's a basic map.
    star wars chiastic map.PNG.png

    Here's a map for tracking primary and secondary themes.
    20200125_195454.png

    Here's a thread where I break it down more.
    https://thecantina.starwarsnewsnet....-in-the-history-of-chiastic-literature.56268/

    And here's an article version of a post I wrote on TLJ where I covered its narrative structure and then its chiastic form (I need to do TFA and TROS still).
    http://jaysonabalos.com/2018/05/08/the-symmetry-impressive-breadth-of-the-last-jedi/

    Basically, TROS is a round robin through all prior 8 films.
    The amount of films each ST film responds to doubles with each film.

    TFA: 2
    TLJ: 4
    TROS: 8

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  7. Jayson

    Jayson Force Sensitive

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    A bit more.

    Each Star Wars trilogy has done this 1 & 2 sequencing.
    As you noted, the OT is ANH | ESB & ROTJ.
    The PT is TPM | AOTC & ROTS.
    And the ST, again, as you noted, is TFA & TLJ | TROS.

    The interesting thing is how these relate to each other.
    TPM, the standalone, pairs with ROTJ (primarily), which is the second of the duet of the OT.

    ROTJ, the second of the duet, pairs in themes to ANH (the OT kicked off the chiastic pattern, and caused the echoes you see through things that aren't paired...for instance, you see ANH in TPM a bit even though it's primary connection is ROTJ because ROTJ refrains ANH, so refraining ROTJ can lead to echoes of ANH), and ANH is the standalone.

    So the PT and OT have the intoductory standing alone because it's the film theme which amplifies the protagonist being alone, while the other two are coupled because this is when they are together with the story troupe.

    In the OT, our "orphan" who wants to leave, but is afraid to, seeks out the company after losing his family.
    In the PT, the company seeks out the "orphan" who wants to leave, but can't until he is liberated, but must leave his family behind.

    In the ST, our "orphan" wants to stay put to seek her family, but gets yanked into our company against her will, which results in her starting a path to finding her family, and her family is found in TROS.

    So basically the standalone is where the family is found or lost in the trilogy, while the second film is where the family shock pushes the "orphan" into a definition of their self - they face their resolve in some way as a result of that shock.

    The interesting twist is that the PT and OT are alone in their opening, while the ST is alone in its closing.

    There's a bunch of meaning here implied, such as the role of friends.
    Friends in the OT caught the orphan and made him not alone.
    Friends in the PT caught the orphan and he pushed them away.
    Friends in the ST caught the orphan and helped her stand on her own even though she tried to push them away.

    The ST also round robined through all prior themes as the standalone, while the OT opened up the themes as the standalone, and the PT foreshadowed (refraining the third act of the OT) the themes as the standalone.

    When you combine this with the chiastic narrative relations as well, it's just kind of fascinating.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  8. RockyRoadHux

    RockyRoadHux Ginger General

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    For a time it looked like this was exactly what JJ planned to be doing with Episode 9, like according to what Dominic Monaghan had said in one of his interviews *sigh*

    This is how I feel too.
     
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  9. Jayson

    Jayson Force Sensitive

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    This saga was never about something fully new.
    It's always been about refrains with a twist.

    Something new is what comes next.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  10. RockyRoadHux

    RockyRoadHux Ginger General

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    True, nevertheless a bit more of twisters and turns couldn't have hurt.
     
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  11. NinjaRen

    NinjaRen Supreme Leader

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    But maybe it should have been.

    Well, that's just speculation. But I hope you're right.
     
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  12. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Jedi General

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    I hope so, but at every turn so far when they start with something new they immediately resort to a crutch of something old.
     
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  13. Too Bob Bit

    Too Bob Bit Force Attuned

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    Hey! Thanks :) Yeah, I'm no stranger to your posts, and have been following them and you for a while now!

    I've been fascinated by the structure and parallels in the Star Wars movies for a long time, from even before the prequels were a thing, especially when I read critiques by Denis Wood - who in his article "The Empire's New Clothes" viewed ESB unfavourably as just a re-tread of ANH with all the same beats - and the rebuke to that article by Anne Lancashire, who speculated in "Complex Design in the Empire Strikes Back" that those parallels were intentional and used to emphasise three basic stages of human development - the wide-eyed outlook of childhood, the introspection and suffering of adolescence, and learning and rising from that to reach maturity (which at that point was just her speculation about ROTJ). To me this was just reinforced when the PT took that more literally, starting with Anakin as a child and then an adolescent (but with then perhaps a very different meaning of 'maturity'!)

    Even well before reading any that, even as a child watching ESB back in the day, the comparison of the snowy wastelands of Hoth with the sandy wastelands of Tatooine, and the disc-like floating city in the clouds with the spherical floating Death Star in space, were not lost on me.

    As the prequels came and went, I made the obvious and cursory observations on the way each episode has parallels with its OT counterpart, but I also recognised how much TPM could be compared to ROTJ. I put that down to just each film working as a progression from the last, 'remaking' and building on what had come before, but when Mike Klimo published his 'Ring Theory', my fascination was reignited and I was on board!

    ...when TFA was released and there was criticism of it just being a remake of ANH, I joked "Aren't they all? Have you only just noticed? They've been 'remaking' ANH since ESB!"
     
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  14. Jayson

    Jayson Force Sensitive

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    Right? lol!
    I'm really looking forward to mapping everything over the next couple of years.
    I'm waiting for TROS to release for home, but then I'm going to endeavor to write a chiastic charting coupled with an exegesis of Star Wars based on that.

    I might even see about co-writers. Not sure, but I've played with the idea of multiple perspectives from multiple authors to capture the subjective effect of it all, and to mirror the variation in the saga from having different hands involved.

    If I go this route of colaborative authoring, if you're up for it, I might chime in with you down the road since you've got a solid head wrapped around the method's exposition. ;)

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  15. Too Bob Bit

    Too Bob Bit Force Attuned

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    Haha... well I'm not sure I'd go that far :p - you're definitely ahead of me on that! But sure, if I feel I can offer any insights that you haven't covered already then I'd be happy to provide a bit of input.
     
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  16. FastestKnight

    FastestKnight Force Sensitive

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    You give more thought to these movies than the people in charge of them.

    Minor spoilers, kinda: I still remember the countless threads about Snoke or the Knigths of Ren and how there were clues about how they were related to X or Y and it was gonna tie the entire saga together, yeah, after seeing Skywalker, they didn't really have a plan and they didn't really care.

    They are making them as they go along, that's it, but speculating is cool, so yeah, why not?
     
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  17. Too Bob Bit

    Too Bob Bit Force Attuned

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    That may be true, but those are specific plot and story points within the type of structural layouts we're discussing, not the structures themselves. So it may be true that they are making some of the specifics of the story up as they go along, but they're doing it to fit within a kind of 'poetic' grand formula and overarching design, as devised by George Lucas. The stories just have to fit in with that design and hit certain beats... while also bearing in mind that, as well as structural symmetry, inversion and diversion are integral to this structure.

    Plot and story details are the content, and that can vary in different hands, but the form and structure follows a pattern. I haven't looked at it in much detail, but if we were to compare say TROS with Trevorrow's script outline, the story details may be different, but on the face of it the broader brush strokes are perhaps the same.

    ...and none of all this has any bearing on whether the story is 'good' or not! For instance, seeing the prequels through the eyes of 'Ring Theory' is for some a fascinating way to appreciate the poetic artistry of them, but it doesn't make the dialogue or the acting better, the story any more emotionally satisfying or make Jar Jar Binks less irritating!
     
    #17 Too Bob Bit, Jan 26, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2020
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  18. Jayson

    Jayson Force Sensitive

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    If you disagree with the premise of chiastic narratives in Star Wars, or don't care...

    Cool. No one's forcing you to step into the conversation.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  19. Phil J

    Phil J Guest

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    TROS is something that could have benefited from being 2 films or even three. With the sequel trilogy they should have done it like the tokusatsu series Garo or Kamen Rider with a television series with feature length episodes and films taking place between seasons either to act as a stand-alone film or to better explain key events that will be referenced in subsequent material.

    This would have achieved the following:
    • Giving space to better explore world and the context behind the story
    • Give characters much needed screen time and development like Rose and Finn
    • Allow fuller stories to be told than rushing from one narrative point to another with very little in the way of explanation like in TROS and to a lesser extent TLJ
    • Allow time to build up to the major events that will take place in the films
    • Show the impact that decisions made in the films have had on the rest of the galaxy and individual characters
    One Chinese series I particularly enjoyed watching was Three Kingdoms- I swear every episode was as grand in scale and scope as a feature film. If Star Wars could emulate this with a live action series, they would have my favour.
     
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  20. Anarchist

    Anarchist Clone Commander

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    You probably know of these, but just in case :

    http://www.starwarsringtheory.com/

    https://www.amazon.ae/Star-Wars-Rings-Hidden-Structure/dp/1974436586
     
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