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Star Wars Ring Theory

Back when I had a Quora account (don’t ever go to that pretentious site!) I was one of the top rated answerers in the “Star Wars” category. Which was amusing, because I mostly just made up answers to EU-related questions despite never having read an EU book. My answers would get upvoted because they ended up making more sense than the crappy EU novels, haha.

Anyway, someone asked the question “Star Wars fans, what do you think of the ring theory?”

This was my answer:

"I read through the theory and it’s kind of cool. It definitely shows that Lucas is a fantastic artist.

However, it doesn’t really tell us anything new. Lucas has talked about his poetry. And the author’s intention seems to be ‘this proves that the prequels are good’.

Another user joked that Lucas was too busy with his poetry, he must have forgotten to make the movies good. That sounds about right to me!"

Here was another answer:
"Personally, I see it as a form of denial or even bargaining, to use the well-known “stages of grief.” The grief among Star Wars fans is that most would agree the prequels sucked. Many fans have attempted various versions of denial or bargaining to try to convince themselves otherwise. But it usually comes down to them trying not to accept what their hearts and souls told them: that the prequels are not good.

The biggest problem with the ring theory is that even if the theory is true, it really doesn’t matter – at all. Why? Because the prequels are still not good chapters, or stanzas, or verses, or whatever you want to call them. So when you have a bunch of bad stanzas mixed in with a bunch of good stanzas, is the poem as a whole good? In my opinion: No. In my opinion: That poem has good stanzas and maybe good lines, but does not work as a whole.

Just because something is complex doesn’t mean that it is good. Just because something is well thought-out doesn’t mean it’s good.

One last note: I also feel like the theory is trying to say that if you don’t like the prequels, then you just don’t get them because you’re not smart enough. And, frankly, that’s not a good statement to be making. Anyone with eyes and ears should be able to understand a movie. That’s the nature of filmmaking. If you fail to make a movie exciting, then the audience doesn’t care how “deep” it is. To quote Lucas in that article mentioned above, “the now has to be engaging.” Each chapter has to be engaging on its own, or it doesn’t matter how complex the overall structure is. And the problem is that several of the “now” chapters are simply not engaging."

Here is yet another:
"Consider the set of integers as a representation of the possible number of parsecs required to make the Kessel run . . . oh, wait. I have to admit, when I got this A2A I assumed I would be answering in terms of the mathematical construct.

From a storytelling perspective, this writer is simultaneously re-discovering the wheel and over-reaching. Great novels, great movies, great stories of any sort often use the technique of a repeated theme or motif that exists both in small scale and in grand scale in a self-reinforcing way. Similarly, much of film-writing analysis and theory in particular has been about constructing the multi-layered and thematically-related sets of conflict and resolution that make an instinctively-satisfying story.

It seems logical to assume that, in developing the prequel stories (that had to dovetail with the start of the original trilogy) Lucas would have considered how to get there in terms of reversing the original stories somewhat. Whether this is genius or not is debatable, but it is stretching the point to assume that there was any kind of master plan going in; recall that despite what Lucas may have said over the years, Star Wars was not “Episode IV” until the re-release and while there is plenty of documentary evidence that Lucas’ original treatment for that film was culled down from a more sprawling story, there is no indication that even the outline of the first trilogy was defined at the start. And, as usual, crediting Lucas with the “big picture” is to minimize the contributions of Lawrence Kasdan and Leigh Brackett to The Empire Strikes Back, which is so central to the overall mythos, the magic of which which was so systematically destroyed by the prequels (midichloridians, indeed).

Finally, as Sameer Ketkar so succinctly points out, it hardly matters whether some grand wheels-within-wheels approach was taken to the story, since the results were so ineffective in any case. Considering Episode 2 as a mirror to Empire is particularly egregious; that film created Darth Vader and the Empire as a villainous force for the ages, but ask any casual fan who the “bad guys” are in Attack of the Clones – the simplest possible question for an epic film – and watch the confusion on their face as they try to sort it out.

So, to directly answer the question, I would say “not much”."

The ring theory is garbage!

The Prequel Radical Redux Ideas Thread

ben_danger said:

I had a dream last night that I was watching an editted ROTS where the editor had removed all hooks leading to the OT. So no Darth Vader transformation, no Luke birth, no Jedi Massacre etc.

The film opened with Obi-Wan hunting for grevious, the Utapau battle, then concluded with Palpatine’s resuce, and Anakin joining the Jedi Council.

I wonder if this could this ever work?

Essentially it might look like a PT that gives as much an ambiguous gap between the PT-OT as the new films do since the OT (ie no obvious set up or bridge).

Huh. I’d watch it, for sure.

I think one mistake that many prequels make is they just “show” backstory events that the original film talked about. For example, I’d bet money that the Han Solo movie has him winning the Falcon in Sabaac.

But that’s boring! If we didn’t need to see it in the original film (via flashback, or whatever), we don’t need to see it in another film!

The problem of Owen Lars

Verboten said:

Ewan was 27 when filming E1. There’s supposed to be 33 years between that and Star Wars, which would put Obi-Wan at 60.

So for those who think Obi-wan ages too fast, it’s because he didn’t look old enough in AOTC and ROTS.

The problem of Owen Lars

“Uncle Owen”, we learn in Star Wars, is Luke’s uncle. From all indications given in the movie, he was Anakin Skywalker’s brother, who disapproved of him joining the Jedi Order.

The PT clumsily explained his relationship to Anakin by giving them a weird half-brother relationship. His father was Cleigg Lars. I always thought his name was made to be “Owen Lars” in the prequels. However, if you read the original drafts of Star Wars ( ), his name is still “Owen Lars”.

So this is the question: From an OT-only perspective I always thought Owen was meant to be Anakin’s brother. But, based on his not-skywalker last name, was this not what George Lucas had in mind?

TL;DR: In the OT, why did George Lucas make Uncle Owen’s last name “lars”, and not Skywalker, when it seemed apparent that he and Anakin were brothers?

Episode VIII Discussion *SPOILER THREAD*

I really hope they don’t kill off Luke, and they just let him die peacefully in the time jump between IX and whatever other movies they make. If they’re serious about not being repetitive, that’s one way to do it!

Han - Solo Movie ** Spoilers **

If I don’t see it it’ll be because it looks so bad it’s not worth my money. But I don’t think it could ruin the other movies for me. I don’t think a new movie with different actors, directors, and sets, could ruin something else for me. It’s easy enough to separate the two in my mind. But that’s just me.

If its really bad, maybe the movie will flop John Carter-style, and Disney will come out with an announcement that “not at all due to the success of the Han Solo spin-off, but due to internal decisions made before that movie came out, we have decided to halt production of all Lucasfilm Star Wars movies after Episode IX, and we are now focusing on Indiana Jones Sequels instead.”

What SE changes (if any) did people like?

I am okay with any change my mom wouldn’t notice (in other words, any person who is not a star wars fan by any measure, but has seen all the films at some point)…
in other words, my mom would never notice that they showed more of cloud city or made the Rancor look better.
But I remember she did notice the news songs in ROTJ and Anakin’s ghost

'97 vs. '04 (and '11) - Your preference?

Ryan-SWI said:
I was mainly referring to Coruscant, which is debatable, and CGI Jabba, which I believe was a test for CG Jabba in TPM (I’m sure I remember seeing a quote from Lucas about it, I could be mistaken though). They’re not direct PT links but I suppose you could make a case for some of the changes only being there because of the PT. It doesn’t really matter though, PT or not most of the stand-out visual changes are garbage.

Unless I’m mistaken, the entire 1997 SE was a test for the prequel trilogy.
Ah, yes…here it is (via Rick McCallum’s page on Wikipedia, emphasis mine):

“When Young Indiana Jones ended, McCallum produced Radioland Murders (1994), for which Lucas served as executive producer. During its production, Lucas confided to McCallum the plans for three new Star Wars movies. To TEST the nascent digital technology just then becoming available, McCallum produced revised versions of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi – released in 1997 as the Special Editions.”

The SE looks like people messing around with CGI because it WAS people messing around with CGI. Once they saw it, they just probably said, “oh hey, we’ve put 1990s special effects in these 80s movies! Why not release it, and claim it’s some sort of ‘modernized’ version?”

The goal was never to ‘update’ the films. The goal was to have a sandbox for the Prequel Trilogy.

The Prequel Radical Redux Ideas Thread

Jeebus said:
The only thing I might want to clarify, or—if this isn’t what you meant originally—change slightly; is that Anakin doesn’t force-choke any Clones. He only force-chokes an incompetent Republic lieutenant (not a clone lieutenant), and partly because their poor tactics led to an overwhelming loss of Clones. I like the angle that Anakin, and by extension, Vader; is loyal to and respects his soldiers.

Vader is cold and imposing, but he has a certain dignity. Sort of like how the PT tried to portray Count Dooku.

I tend to watch the SE sometimes

The SE is too distracting for me to enjoy as a movie, since I grew up with the 1995 VHS tapes. I feel like I’m playing iSpy the whole time, looking for changes.

The Prequel Radical Redux Ideas Thread

NeverarGreat said:
Mace would have to be in his 30’s, and Obi-wan would need to be in his 50’s. This actually makes more sense than the continuity of the prequels, since we are supposed to believe that Obi-wan ages from 35 to 75 in the span of 19 years. If Obi-wan was aged appropriately, he could genuinely be a father figure to Anakin.

Good point. In Retrospect, I’m not sure why George didn’t just combine the Qui-gon and Obi-wan characters in the first place. We didn’t need to see Obi-wan as a padawan, and Obi-wan having a master that died didn’t add anything to the other movies. An aged up Obi-wan could have easily done what Qui-gon did in The Phantom Menace.

The Prequel Radical Redux Ideas Thread

ben_danger said:

An old member named SSWR had some similar ideas years ago - trying to turn Mace Windu into a sort of Snape character, who was a sort of tragic hero. Sadly he closed his youtube account a while back so some of his videos are lost - but there are some here -


A lot was achieved with adding different context to various head turns and grumpy expressions. He had a bunch of other videos, including a brilliant ending to ROTS that was never recovered.
Ah yes–the fan-o-matic!
I’m fairly new around here, but the 'matic has always impressed me every times I’ve seen a clip of it.

Those ROTS clips were quite chilling–in a good way. Too bad that’s not what George did.
Anakin’s fall to the dark as presented in the PT never rang true to me. Worried that his wife is gonna die (due to a DREAM), and killing children? Sure, it explains how he became evil, but it doesn’t explain how he became Darth Vader. Darth Vader isn’t Darth Maul (vicious, mindless animal) or Kylo Ren (emo baddie).

The PT would have worked best like this:
(basically the phantom menace and attack of the clones rolled into one film)

Obi-wan (no qui-gon, (I thought Yoda trained him?)) helps free Naboo from the Confederacy of Independant Systems (already a thing at this point), which is led by a Count Dooku figure. Somewhere along the way Kenobi meets (in his late teens) Anakin, who eventually becomes his apprentice. Mace Windu is opposed to this. Anakin also meets Padme (not a queen) and it’s obvious they like each other.

The Republic is freaked out about the Separatists and wants action immediately. Chancellor Valorum is criticized for letting the situation get to the point where it’s basically coming to war. (to make matters worse, the republic has no galaxy-wide army. individual planets may have forces, but the entire galaxy does not)

Meanwhile, we get a subplot about the Jedi council finding out about some clones that have been grown on Kamino. The makers of the clones simply say they are ‘opportunists’ who have seen the war coming. (of course they’ve really been planted by Palpatine)

The Jedi Council and Valorum are leery, but the Senators and people of the galaxy don’t care. They want action! Naboo must be rescued! So Valorum, realizing that stuff must be done, gets a law passed that creates a GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC. This army is under the command of the office of the chancellor, and will be assisted by the Jedi.

Then Valorum, under criticism for his handling of this situation, resigns. (this is a practice unfamiliar to the USA, but in many other countries, the Prime Minister will resign when things “go bad” under his watch.)(or it could be a ‘vote of no confidence’, either one). Either way, Palpatine becomes Chancellor, partially out of pity (Naboo is the planet he represents) and partially because he has been a strong voice against the Separatists, and it seems now he’s been validated.

Anyway, the brand-new clone army attacks Naboo, and frees it…but begun, the clone wars have!

With the political story of Episode I out of the way, I don’t think we need much more politics. I think the audience can accept that over the course of the war, Palpatine simply became more and more powerful with the army under his command, and the senate became more and more irrelevant yes-men. Also Palpatine appointed regional military governours.

Episodes II and III are really focused on Anakin and Obi-wan.
Anakin (between I and II) has married Padme (no Jedi forbidden love). He is a stong Jedi commander and often works with Obi-wan under the command of Bail Organa (this validates the OT).
Basically, Anakin is one of the most powerful jedis ever. He is frustrated by Mace Windu’s percieved attempts to hold him back and snub him.
He is also frustrated by the incompetence and idiocy of the army-men under his command. One time, after they lose a battle they should have won, he starts to force-choke a lieutenant in anger. Obi-wan is alarmed by this and makes Anakin stop. Anakin apologizes, but he’s still angry.

The story would end much like the fan-o-matic presents. Anakin is hungry for even more power. He is fed up with stupid bureaucrats and a Jedi order that seems to hate/fear him (personified by Mace Windu). Palpatine and Obi-wan seem to be the only ones who understand him. Palpatine’s vision of a galaxy ruled by a strong leader (an emperor) is attractive to him. Obi-wan agrees that Mace Windu focuses too much on himself, and not on the Jedi principals, but concedes that Mace is an incredibly powerful Jedi and has a right to be at the head of the Order.

Of course, eventually Anakin learns that Palpatine is a Sith! He’s shocked, and Anankin turns him in. Mace, knowing Anakin is a friend of Palpatine, uses this opportunity to accuse him of fraternizing with the enemy…

And you get the point. Anakin ends up killing Mace Windu, and, with Palpatine’s approval, begins to use his new powers in dark ways. Somewhere along the line the clones execute order 66…

“I thought I could be as good of a teacher as Master Yoda. I was wrong.”

As events get worse and worse, Obi-wan realizes that he has, in effect, failed. Anakin is becoming a monster of a man–a ruthless, cold military commander.
They end up on Muustafar together, where Obi-wan says "Wrongs (meaning Mace’s treatment of Anakin) do not justify other wrongs."
They talk for a little more, and anakin gets very angry. Obi-wan says something along the lines of "perhaps Mace Windu was right about you, Anakin!"
Anakin can’t believe his master is saying this and sees it as a betrayal. It gets to the point where Anakin pulls a lightsaber on Obi-wan…
and this is where Obi-wan realizes that Anakin’s new powers he’s learned from palpatine are the beginnings of his training…in the ways of the Sith! (only Mace was told palps was a sith)
Obi-wan becomes very alarmed and says that Anakin is following an evil path!
Eventually, they end up dueling, and Anakin falls into the lava pit.

Mace Windu’s title, as head of the Jedi Order, is Darth Vader, which means “master of all force users” or something like that. The symbol of this office is the purple lightsaber, which has been handed down since ancient times. It represents the user’s mastery of all the force–the head of the Jedi Order was supposed to understand (not use, mind you) the dark and the light, or something like that.
This lightsaber is destroyed when Anakin kills Mace Windu.

This way, the audience is tricked into thinking that Ben isn’t lying–Anakin’s hatred towards Mace is the reason Anakin had to be killed. We assume Mace Windu somehow survived his injuries.

In truth, though, Darth Vader is in actuality Anakin Skywalker. His taking of the name shows that he arrogantly feels “now I am the master”… because he’s killed Mace.

Wow…that went way longer than I thought it would. I wonder if I should make my own fan-o-matic based on this…I’m not sure it’d be possible… it would take a lot of dubbing!

Star Wars vs. A New Hope

towne32 said:

DuracellEnergizer said:

CatBus said:

Then, around the Special Editions, people started pushing the “A New Hope” name hard, and also episode numbers.

I thought the use of episode numbers only really started catching on when TPM was released, becoming firmly entrenched once AOTC arrived.

Yep. It was really quite brilliant what Lucas set up back in 1980. There are so many fans who accept the PT and give it a free pass, simply because it slots into the big gaping “Episode I to III” hole he left in 1980 and the saga feels incomplete to them starting at the actual beginning.Of course, it makes it all th e more frustrating to those of us who are critical of it. But it was a bit of well-planned marketing genius to make the films seem necessary regardless of how they turned out.

Agree totally. If you sort of have OCD, it almost bothers you if you only watch the originals (4,5,6) and don’t watch the prequels.

6 film trilogy "Faces" Covers

oojason said:

a couple of nice looking Faces-based VHS covers/box for Rogue One - may give some inspiration / ideas if anyone is doing a complete Faces set… (if and when good quality photos that match the rest of the Faces series / style are available)

^ from

Wow…that looks fantastic.

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