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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. Jayson

    Jayson Force Sensitive

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    Yes I do.
    They are both really well done, however Ring Theory's creator appears to have a pretty strong dislike of the ST and shows no sign of updating his work.

    Hidden Structure was neat and a great little fast way for people to pick it up, but it's really incomplete and kind of boastfull instead of focused on the topic.

    Both don't do what I want to do, and that is to walk through and make a chiastic narrative atlas.
    Not just an overview of the big picture or acts, or major plot points.

    Every one of them.
    Every one?

    [​IMG]

    :p

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  2. cawatrooper

    cawatrooper Jedi General

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    I know I'm like a month late to this conversation, but...

    Here's the thing. I love the chiastic structure of the OT and PT. It's subtle (kind of), yet does some pretty profound things.

    And I love the sequel trilogy, too. It's entertaining, and I don't require it to be much more than that.

    But the problem with chiastic structure that exceeds more than one inversion, at least when presenting it to a general audience, is that it is inherently hard to shake feelings of futility and unoriginality. It's just a constant spiral between ideas and mirrors of those ideas. It's far more difficult to be subtle, and things can start to feel derivative. Add this to the compiling nature of it simply being harder to tell original stories as a series progresses (especially when they're all so thematically similar) and you might have a pretty big problem to deal with.

    Which begs the question: did it work for Star Wars?

    I mean... maybe? I know that personally, I loved the ST, but even so I see the issues inherent with this. And it's no secret that even from the release of the first movie, people were starting to find it derivative.

    Though, before I go on, I'd definitely like to read these new resources further, because I do find the subject fascinating.
     
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  3. Jayson

    Jayson Force Sensitive

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    Actually, I'd argue that Star Wars should inherently be derivative.

    Not only was ANH pegged as exactly that on day one by several critics (who weren't wrong), but Lucas himself is directly a fan of abstract montage/collage films from the pure cinema family, and that was where he honestly expected his career to go before he ended up sidetracked by Coppola challenging him to go commercial.

    And when he made Star Wars, he rather overtly went about it by homaging to a degree far beyond a simple "homage". It was more kin to the collage films he had done before, and was a fan of (21-87, for example ... which bears its name in Star Wars), but unlike a true collage film, it didn't use "found footage" to compile itself like Lucas' earlier works, but instead created the "collage" within itself through scene and sequence archetypal holders.

    Instead of literally cutting scenes from other films and stitching them back together, Lucas (famous for having a brain like an editing room) would stitch the various scenes and sequences from other films into the script with a new skin layered over it.

    It's a rather fascinating concept, a conceptual collage contained within a linear narrative film.

    Then Lucas one-upped that, because it's not actually "chiastic" (not by a purely literal definition...it's just the most familiar narrative form of like fashion), because what Lucas went on to do after ANH was then start including his own films within the saga as part of the conceptual "found footage" for the conceptual collage he would build the next linear narrative film out of.

    Star Wars basically eats itself to build itself, while at the same time eats a bunch of external films as well.
    This all gets spit out into a film.

    It's a rather bizarre way to make a movie, and I only think a highly visual, esoteric, editing-minded thinking artist like Lucas would ever think to make a film this way.

    As such...I don't really see any problem with Star Wars being derivative.
    If it isn't being derivative through that conceptual collage style, I personally kind of think that a rather large chunk of the artistry of Star Wars that Lucas invented is missing.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  4. Phil J

    Phil J Guest

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    Acknowledging its original inspiration is one thing, but I would rather it not be a slave to the tropes it helped to create which is arguably what happened in later installations of Ghost In The Shell:
    • Innocence
    • Stand Alone Complex (seasons 1+2)
    • Stand Alone Complex: Solid State Society
    • Arise
    • Arise:The Movie
     
  5. Jayson

    Jayson Force Sensitive

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    Being a slave to a trope is different than retaining an artistic form.
    Part of Star Wars' artistic form is derivative cinematic language.

    You could almost make A New Hope by splicing together footage from films that came before it.
    You can't entirely do that, but it's pretty close.

    With every film that came after, you could do the same, but you also now had the prior Star Wars films as some of the footage to splice in to make ESB or ROTJ, etc...

    Star Wars doesn't really fall into the issue of being a slave to tropes because that's kind of like saying the method of collage art suffers from reusing material.

    The problem with this is that it ignores the art form's method.
    It would be an entirely different thing to say that of work by an artist who was becoming a slave to their own trope of style or theme.

    One could arguably make the claim that artists like Wes Anderson and Tim Burton run the risk, and thread the edge, on becoming a slave of their own tropes.
    That's because they use a highly styled form of expression, and rely on that stylized way of movement, position, and image to be able to have a voice.

    On the other hand, Star Wars doesn't really fall into this because it doesn't rely on a single style, but instead allows a lot of diversity in style within itself, but at the core of its mechanics and technical side of the art, it's a derivative of collage filmmaking, which means the method for the art - regardless of the style - is inherently derivative...as all collages are.

    Neither Anderson or Burton are employing methods which are themselves inherently derivative forms of art. Lucas was, right from the beginning.
    So for them, being self-derivative is problematic where it's just not really an aesthetic flaw for Lucas' Star Wars, and to a vast degree, Star Wars on the whole.

    The styling, for example, between ANH and ESB and ROTJ are quite different. And again, the PT, while over all stylistically similar with itself across the three films, is vastly different from the OT.
    The ST is stylistically different with TFA and TROS from TLJ very sharply, and even TROS and TFA have narrative stylistic differences.

    But one thing they all have in common is that they are giant reskinned collages - developing what we see and watch based on a library that is not only every film in history, but also every Star Wars film that came before.
    Abrams really found his stride in this idea more in TROS than he did in TFA.
    There's conceptual collages (what people took to be homages, but aren't because of what Star Wars is built like as an art) from the likes of Indiana Jones and Goonies in it, for example.

    If Star Wars was capable of being a slave to its own tropes, then it would have already been condemned by the Prequel Trilogy for even bothering to repeat the exact same themes as before.

    But try as critics might since the very first film to dismiss Star Wars as merely a derivative copy of things that came before it, a slave to trope, it has repeatedly said, "I don't really give a f###" and continued with its art form including a root in collage filmmaking whether anyone understood it or not.

    Because...well...Lucas.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  6. Phil J

    Phil J Guest

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    Interesting and insightful. I had not thought about it in that way before. The idea of Star Wars as a collage. Perhaps like Hellenistic traditions wherein religious thinkers, playwrights and poets of Rome pikeyed the narrative structures, traditions and belief systems of their Greek neighbours and built upon them to form something derivative and yet at the same time uniquely Roman.
     
  7. Jayson

    Jayson Force Sensitive

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    Actually, yes.

    There's a lot in common between, for example, the book of John's construction and Star Wars in a conceptual sort of way due to John being "written" in coastal Anatolia (most likely) and cobbled together at the theater (as the theater was where religion was told in this region) over time by mashing different things together (the grammar of the Greek swings wildly and sharply between fine to our idea of an 8 year old's grammatic control, and all ranges in between).

    And it does this because of what you cite: the Hellenist culture had a favor for blending multiple scenes and elements from other stories into new ones, so it was nothing abnormal to see things work or not at the theater and shuffle it around to make it tick better.

    I think the primary difference here is that collage film, where Lucas half comes from, openly aims to be non-narrative, while still conveying a thought or message.
    Lucas causes a similarity to Hellenist writing by taking that collage basis and trying to make it work inside of a narrative frame.

    Actually, being a student of anthropology and literature, he pulled on Hellenism in a few ways. Chiasm, and the mythological Epic were the other two notable aspects he was impressed with.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  8. Phil J

    Phil J Guest

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    When you say the book of John, is that a Biblical reference?
     
  9. Jayson

    Jayson Force Sensitive

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    Yes.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  10. Phil J

    Phil J Guest

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    It is interesting that Lucas was interested in anthropology. Myself, I have always been interested in the biological aspect instead of the 'cultural' aspect of anthropology. How modern humanity spread from its early home in Africa, how it adapted to various challenges such as predators and changing climatic conditions and how it evolved the ability to solve complex problems as individuals and through collective action. But it is fascinating on a very human level to observe how art changed from when the first human placed his/her hand on a rock, blew ochre on said hand and removed it, leaving behind an echo in a bold and yet simple statement- I was here.

    How we got from there to here is a source of endless fascination to me. And a great source of anxiety for in getting from there to here, it is arguable that as well as gaining many things, there is so much we have lost.
    [​IMG]

    Bit of a tangent here but on the subject of time, IKEA is actually recognising the value of time by allowing customers to pay for their goods using time. Basically how it works is that customers are encouraged to allow members of staff to see their Google maps and from this they can deduce a journey time. Customers who spend longer travelling to their stores can thus benefit in the form of discounts.

    It seems that companies are finally recognising the value of time as a commodity and currency in of itself.

    More information can be found here.

     
  11. Jayson

    Jayson Force Sensitive

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    Funny coincidence.
    I made a song that was a meditation on the very subject you are talking about, and even used that exact image as the cover image for the song.
    It's called One Sound of Human.

    https://hearthis.at/arjra/one-sound-of-human/

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
  12. Phil J

    Phil J Guest

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    You sir have impeccable taste in music.
     
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  13. Jayson

    Jayson Force Sensitive

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    Well thank you! :)

    I haven't done anything in recent months, kind of on a hiatus after finishing an album that I did which meditated on the cycle of hatred, war, hope, loss, and optimism.
    (hit me up in DM if you want the private link for the not-yet-released album copy)

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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