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The Sequel Trilogy has an Identity Crisis

Discussion in 'General Sequel Trilogy Discussion' started by DarthSnow, Aug 20, 2020.

  1. The Birdwatcher

    The Birdwatcher Rebel Official

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    *That doesn't mean that they won't possess a certain level of authorship over specific aspects or feel ownership over the work, however. How often do we fight what George Lucas interprets as Star Wars? Is Star Wars for children, or is it for those who were children, or is it for all ages? Did Han shoot first? Why is the despecialized version inherently better than the version Lucas, the creator himself, sees as complete? What makes the EU/Legends better than the canon we have now? And those are just some of the Star Wars ones. I'm not even touching Harry Potter...[/QUOTE]

    The problem here is that the PT and TCW have stripped any meaning of the colors of a lightsaber outside of yellow, red, and white (meaning Temple Guard if it's a double-bladed lightsaber, Corrupted, and "Redeemed" more or less), but I don't care about the color really, simply the form of a lightsaber. But you missed the major part of the argument.

    I missed part of the argument that Rey's lightsaber needed to be double-sided because it fits with her established use of the staff? I said this at the end, if you don't agree with it, then yes, it did miss the point of your argument:

    What matters is honestly the plot and what it's telling us. What is the story there? To be frank, Rey DID construct something unique- her lightsaber is shaped uniquely with a yellow light-beam/core. Symbolically, it is still unique. Does it match up with her use of her staff in TFA and TLJ? No. But does her staff define who she is- her thoughts, her identity as a scavenger/ a survivor by the time that TROS rolls around? What if Rey is growing into the role of being a Jedi and feels the need to have only one-side of a saber? She does start to feel more comfortable with the lightsaber in TLJ, so I wouldn't put it outside of the equation in this case. It might be a little bit odd, although I think it fits the situation fair enough.

    TROS is all about fanservice and trying to honor the past. In a previous post I listed out all of the major references and call-backs to previous films within TROS. Nostalgia and high-paced action are JJ's M.O.

    Well, Lucas did homages to Saturday Mantinees, and the original Star Wars was fast-paced and shot. The only difference here is that TROS is referencing Star Wars, not nostalgic Westerns, sci-fi/fantasy popular fiction, etc.

    1. It would have been a nice reference to the P.T, something the Abrams films try to make us forget outside of snide remarks.

    Maybe, but we don't need a reference to the PT. Can't it just be its own thing, or at least adhere to homage with pulp sci-fi/westerns?

    2. It would have been an easy way to convert Rey's old weapon into a new one, signifying that she isn't forsaking the past, but honoring it and bringing it forward in a new way for a new purpose. (So here's your symbolism.)

    Fair point, but I think that the creation of a new lightsaber from Rey still is Rey embracing the new way/fighting style of becoming a Jedi (one-sided). Remember how in her dark side vision, she had a double-sided lightsaber. If it had been done again, it would have seemed repetitive and the association to Darth Maul isn't the best signification of Rey's choice to stick on the light side of the Force. Granted, Rey could have had a double-bladed blue lightsaber, but it's fine. Also, most lightsaber duelists battle with just one blade.

    3. It would have been a simple crowd-pleasing thing.

    I'm gonna disagree here. Yes, it would have been, but I don't favor choosing something just because it is one thing that wows the crowd. The sequence of the Falcon narrowly trying to get out of the way of the side of an Imperial dreadnaught at the end of Episode V wows me because of the sheer matte painting and model work that's put into it; it's more than just a double-bladed lightsaber- it's incredibly immersive and fits the story atmospherically.

    You know, nine times out of ten I actually agree with you here. Heck, one of my gripes with TROS is that it feels like it's entirely catering to fans. And now to be the contrarian I am...

    Moviemaking is a business, which means to a certain degree you do have to cater to your fans. Does that mean they should have a hand in artistic and creative decisions? ABSOLUTELY NOT.* But it does mean that creators have to be cognizant of their fanbase and their desires, as their satisfaction determines the success of the film, or book, or frankly any creative endeavor. It's not all "I made art and you must enjoy it!" or "You make what I want!" It's a give and take, a push and pull, a compromise. Fans don't like what you make, they're welcome to go elsewhere to get satisfied, but now you're left without a fanbase. And with no fanbase, there's no incentive to invest in your art.

    There were no fanbases to Star Wars in 1977- it spread by word of mouth and timing- happenstance. The science fiction fans seemed reluctant to even pick up on Star Wars at the conventions before the film's release, even. All of my reading/skimming of The Making of Star Wars books of the OT, mostly proves that fans were a non-issue, except for in ROTJ, in which case, they took from the film by making things obvious (influencing Lucas to include a scene where Luke asks Yoda if Vader is his father, despite evidence that Luke painfully accepts the idea back in Empire and making Leia appear more motherly and caring (I believe) as a response to critics and those who called her cold or had a cold attitude, which made her character out of character for the most part in the film.).

    Basically, it was not the fanbase back in those days, as much as it was the film audience. And Fox (and Lucas) were interested in MAKING MONEY. But there weren't really focus groups that much back in the day- test audiences, yes, but I don't think that Fox or Lucasfilm, for that matter, was yet targeting fanbases. Let's be honest here- Lucas took out a loan on his house just to finance TESB; that's a huge risky move to do, but Lucas wanted to get his film financed. I remember Lucas saying once that some of his films hadn't made a dime (Howard the Duck?, perhaps), but he didn't regret doing any of them. That's not the attitude of- I must appease the fanbase! He wanted to make great films that could earn lots of money. Sometimes he did let characters live, such as Han, in order to sell more Han figures to earn more money for Return of the Jedi. But I can't say if that makes for a great plot- Han barely does anything after he's rescued besides thoughtfully thinking if the Falcon will survive or not, closing up his issues with the Leia/Luke love triangle, and helping the rebels. It's not very inspired.

    But you also don't want to be so deep into catering to the fans that you don't feel like you have any artistic freedom at all.

    That's where fanservice comes in. Ideally, it's small or minor moments where the fans get exactly what they want and doesn't affect any major part of the plot or story. Rogue One handled that well with the doctors, the Hera shout-out, and the X-Wing pilots. It was clever, rewarded fans, and didn't affect the plot. This is the level I put Rey building the double-bladed lightsaber at. Clever, rewards fans, and doesn't affect the plot.


    I guess, but that's like putting in Easter Eggs from something else so that fans will notice- I don't think that I'm a fan of that- I prefer fidelity of the story and script, even if it's unaffected by shout-outs. I remember reading Invincible, and they made a shout-out to Han's "I know" line, which I felt was pointless, and made it self-aware. Also, if you're putting stuff in there that doesn't affect the plot, it's adding stuff in there. Dare I state this, but it is somewhat like the Special Effects version of Star Wars where more stuff is thrown in in order to reveal the finesse of Lucasfilm's special effects department and to change how the film is presented. It doesn't affect the overall plot, but not-needed stuff is thrown in.

    Unless it's an effective in-universe joke like Clark Kent going to a phone booth to change clothes only to realize that modern phone booths don't have enough space to actually change in Superman I, it's not really going to fit that well. Sorry, but I don't think that it is.

    Then you get into larger things that do affect the plot that you do simply for the sake of doing them: Luke lifting the X-Wing, Palpatine's BS excuse about how he came back, Ben and Han's throwback to the whole "I love you," "I know."
    Some of these are good, others are not. But these are clearly intended to cater to a specific audience and in doing so have a larger chance of robbing the story of any creative integrity.

    Palpatine was dead and came back via clone; it's not that hard to imagine Sith ghosts lingering on in the Force- happened a lot in the EU and Knights of the Old Republic games. I can't say if that's fan service, as much as it is, the obligatory need to reference Star Wars's legacy in order to make feel like "Star Wars".

    Luke lifting the X-Wing is repetitive and leans more towards the fan service side of things, I think. But it also is trying to reference Star Wars's legacy and shows that Luke is capable and believes in himself or the Force. It neatly ties up an arc- admittedly a bit too neatly.

    The last one is the most difficult decoding- the meaning is vastly different than the original context. Ben is trying to redeem himself/show that he's sorry, but Han replies that he's still loved/forgiven. The dialogue is repetitive and a bit of a reference, but the meaning is not.

    I agree that they rob the story of creative integrity (except for Palpatine coming back, actually- that is partly an issue of legacy- of targeting and keeping the BIG BAD around, since Palpatine has been targeted as the BIG BAD permanently since ROTJ or even TESB), even though there is thought put into the plot points that are mixed into the fan service.

    Once again, the point about the lightsaber is that it was a weird missed chance that, while not fixing everything, would have made a lot of sense imo.

    It's a creative decision. Honestly, it is JUST a lightsaber- it is not that important. I feel it's still more poignant that Luke looses his at the end of Empire and never picks it up at the film's ending- he's literally been castrated and outclassed by Vader. It holds symbolic weight and meaning to TESB's plot. If Luke had REALLY NEEDED to have that lightsaber at the end of TESB to show that he's still a Jedi in-training, then the film could have showed a scene of Luke going back and picking that thing back up.

    I think the intent is to show Rey making a new lightsaber of a different color- it's more or less the ROTJ thing to do- a new lightsaber with a different color- Rey becoming her own person/reaching womanhood while burying the older lightsabers honorably. It has symbolic meaning still. Does Rey want to be reminded of her old life when she was a scavenger fighting off others with her staff? I don't really know if a double-bladed lightsaber would actually fit to be honest, the more I'm considering.

    *That doesn't mean that they won't possess a certain level of authorship over specific aspects or feel ownership over the work, however. How often do we fight what George Lucas interprets as Star Wars? Is Star Wars for children, or is it for those who were children, or is it for all ages?

    It's for children, but Star Wars's marketing was skewed- it was shown to the sci-fans at conventions before the film's release, and Fox certainly didn't market it for children but as a sci-fi adventure/blockbuster. Other collaborations blurred the line with the film. Still, the films have remained at a PG rating for the OT, despite dark subject matter.

    Did Han shoot first?

    Yes, he did- the shooting script shows it, I believe.

    Why is the despecialized version inherently better than the version Lucas, the creator himself, sees as complete?

    In most cases, and that is subjective. There's evidence that Lucas changes his mind on what is canon or complete, and perhaps, over time, one might get bored with having just the same plot around. It may be business tactic also.

    Let's also remember that Star Wars was a collaboration of everyone on the Lucasfilm team (Joe Johnson, Ben Burtt, Gary Kurtz, Laurence Kasdan, Irving Kersher, Gloria Katz, Willard Huyck, Howard Kazanjian, Richard Marquand, etc.). Lucas had core ideas and core writing in most cases and some directorial duties, but a lot of people contributed to the films.

    What makes the EU/Legends better than the canon we have now?

    To be honest, I disagree that the EU/Legends is better than the Star Wars that we have now; it is very focused on the fantasy genre. However, I like the idea and development (for the most part) of Jacen Solo/Darth Caedus, which is rad as can be- the idea of Vader's legacy still continuing in some sort of fashion.

    And those are just some of the Star Wars ones. I'm not even touching Harry Potter...


    I know Harry Potter- there are plenty of changes from the books to the films. In that case, it is a fidelity issue, not so much a fan issue, since there is a working script taken from the books, which are utilized as guidelines. Rowling doesn't really repeat dialogue or themes that much- she will tie up loose ends- show where connective plot tissue ends up at. And with the more liberal adaptations (i.e. Prisoner of Azkaban), the films can have a lot of fun with doing their own thing by constructing their own version of the adaptation.
     
    #61 The Birdwatcher, Jan 23, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2021
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