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joelwatts

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14-Oct-2011
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27-Dec-2016
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5

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Post
#547635
Topic
How would YOU re-do the prequels?
Time

I always pictured the Jedi as being most similar to the Ronin samurai, especially as depicted in the movie, "The Seven Samurai."  I even think in the early days that Lucas himself made that comparison.  Either way, it is well known that Lucas admired Kurosawa and the fim, even borrowing the line of the peasants, "we seem to be made to suffer,  it's our lot in life."

The Ronin are knights-errant.  This means they wander around looking for quests they can perform in order to live up to their ideal.  In medieval literature this was based on Romance and chivalry.  They were often employed by noblemen, which supports Kenobi's serving Bail Organa in the Clone Wars.  I don't like the idea of their being an institutionalzed, organization like the Jedi Council.  In my imaginings, there is a Jedi Code, a set of ideals that Jedi tryo to follow, but each Jedi has a lot more freedom in what he does to follow that code, and he is not bossed around by a beauracratic council.  This also helps explain how Kenobi decided on his own to take Anakin as an apprentice.  Incidentally, the idea that the Council approved of Kenobi taking on Anakin, makes Kenobi's words in ANH about his decision to teach Anakin almost meaningless.

So, I say all this in order to support my previously expressed idea of the Clone Wars.  I see individual Jedi, or small bands of Jedi (a la the Seven Samurai), being employed by noblemen, political leaders, etc, in order to uphold their systems' anti cloning laws against those who want to force the clone trade.

I know the Mandalorians fit in here somewhere, but not sure how. 

This post has been edited.

Post
#547624
Topic
How would YOU re-do the prequels?
Time

I want to reply to three specifics form the last post:

First of all, I wholeheartedly agree that the allusions from the OT should have been considerd canon, and mostly immutable.  I say mostly, because I think some minor adjustemts could be okay, as they were from ANH to ESB, in order to make the story work better.

Secondly, I, too have always thought that the rise of Palpatine should be based on some actual historical event.  I like the idea of him being a type of Napoleon.  One thing this would do is allow the writer to avoid a lot of poltical detail in order to support the idea.  We don't need a lot of political background, just hints, as we got in the OT.  Napoleon was an artillery officer who fought and won some impressive battles in Italy, returned to Paris as a great war hero at just the right time, and was placed into power by others.  He eventually took more and more power and declared himself emperor.  His Continental System was a type of forerunner to 20th century socialism.

Palpatine could be some mid-level type of nobleman/warrior( a la the Prussion army officers who came from the ranks of the nobilty).  He wins some important battles in the Clone Wars and returns to Coruscant to be put into power by others, who intend to manipulate him to their own ends, but to their surprise, he takes control and cannpt be manipulated.  Maybe he foresaw all of this happening due to his dark side force skills.

Lastly, I see the Clone Wars differently than most.  I always thouight they alluded to the Opium Wars, in which Britain fought against the Chinese in order to spread the opium trade into China, where it was illegal.  I see the Republic, showing its moral decay, fighting against systems that have outlawed cloning in order to spread the clone trade. 

And since I need to explain how the Jedi fit into the picture, I have to explain my view of the Jedi.   Next post.

This post has been edited.

Post
#546157
Topic
Mythos- Mid -Eighties to Mid-Nineties
Time

I would like to gather info from fans about the mythos that existed before we knew there would be a prequel.  There were certain things about the SW unverse that we knew about, or had enough background info, to speculate about.  These insights were developed by hashing together tidbits found in licensed fiction from lucasfilm, in games, like those from West End, and from published background info about how Lucas developed the stories (Skywalking and the Annotated Screenplays).

Share what you remember of the mythos of this period and tell us what sources you recall the ideas being based on, or even drawn directly from (i.e. West End Games Star Wars Sourcebook, my personal favorite form the time).  I see this thread being a chronicle of what the SW universe and story were to us before the prequels were begun.

Post
#546118
Topic
How would YOU re-do the prequels?
Time

I’m 37 and grew up on Star Wars.  Naturally, I was one of the first in line for Episode I, and later Episode II.  I think I waited a couple of days to see Episode III.  While I consider the experience of seeing Episode I one of the best movie-going experiences in my life, I eventually developed a strong dislike of all the prequels.

 

I say I developed this dislike, because I think I wanted to like them, I tried to like them for a long time.  Finally, and I’m not sure what triggered it, but something snapped and I realized the movies were awful and that I hated them.  No more pretending that somehow they were good, worthy of praise and worthy of defending against critics.

 

Since that time I have given a lot of thought to why the movies are so bad.  The creepy Red Letter Media video reviews do a great job of critiquing the films as films, but don’t offer much in the way of remedy, or what could have been.

 

So, my almost daily obsession of thinking about Star Wars led me to develop a series of ideas regarding the prequels, the original trilogy and George Lucas.  I’d like to begin to lay out the theses and also offer some of my ideas about what the prequels could have or should have been.

 

My basic thesis stems from the idea that creativity thrives, and delivers the best outcomes when it is forced to work under limitations.  Limitations, or constraints force creative people to solve hard problems.  More time, more thought is put into the approach and the outcome, I think, tends to be better.  It’s one of the reasons I think hand made paintings are unique, better and more expressive than digital paintings.

 

George Lucas was forced to work under certain limitations when he made Star Wars.  These limitations, for the most part, constrained what Lucas could do visually. Given these limitations, Lucas was forced (it may have been that filmmakers at that time merely felt they had no choice, given the current visual effects technology) to work harder, and focus more on the other aspects of the movie.  He knew then, that he was not the best screenwriter, especially when it came to dialogue, and he got help in this department.  He paid special attention to the story and its mythical allusions.  He concentrated on creating a visual aesthetic for the movie, that would be important regardless of the limitations of the visual effects.  In many of these areas, he sought out help from others who had special talents and knowledge.

 

A lot of time could be spent pointing out all the limitations that Lucas worked under in the making of Star Wars, but suffice to say that Lucas knew he would not be able to re-create all the fantastic visual images he had created in his mind’s eye.

 

Now jump forward to the late 1990s.  Hollywood had reached the point where there was virtually no limitation to what could be depicted visually on the silver screen.  “Jurassic Park” was the first movie I remember seeing (since “Star Wars”)and being overwhelmingly impressed with the visual effects, especially the scene of the T-rex chasing the jeep.  However, as a movie, “Jurassic Park” was average and predictable at best.  The new technology didn’t help in that department.

 

So, now Lucas practically had no limitations on what he could dream up and re-create on screen.  But certainly he knew he had other limitations.  He hadn’t directed a movie himself since “Star Wars.”  He hadn’t written a feature movie screenplay since then, either, and he needed help with dialogue then.  He had a visual aesthetic from the same movies.  He had a canon of three previous movies with an established story and background. On top of this he had a long developed mythos surrounding the stories and characters he had created.

 

George Lucas, having the visual effect limitations removed, and with virtual free rein to create anything he could imagine on screen, set about to also remove any other limitations in his way.  I assert that he abandoned the previous mythos that had existed since the end of “Return of the Jedi.”  This mythos was created by Lucasfilm, through its licensed products, especially story related items like fiction and games.  It was also based on the history of the making of the movies and the evolution of writing of the story.  It is this mythos that delivered to fans the background stories, like how Kenobi defeated Vader in a lightsaber duel and how the emperor took control of the republic.  I believe he abandoned these things in order to put all of his grandiose visual fantasies on the screen.

 

If I were Lucas’ muse, I would have guided him to establish several self-imposed limitations, under which he would create the prequel story and visual feel.

 

(to be continued)

 

This post has been edited.

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