Great post and thread! It’s given me a new appreciation for Star Wars, and a greater appreciation for the continuity of the ST and PT with the OT, even if I still don’t like either.
The Lady & the Hat said:
Good food for thought. I feel the Surrealist aspects of Star Wars are lost on most viewers. With so much sci-fi being derivative of Star Wars, it becomes normalized.
Yes, there’s a great irony in the fact that Star Wars, which started with a movie so weird that most studios rejected it, is now virtually the definition of mainstream. Few of the copycat films over the last four decades have understood what made Star Wars work. There’s been a lot of really good sci-fi inspired by the aesthetic and technical achievements of Star Wars, but not the storytelling “philosophy” it used, at least not in many other big budget mainstream films.
Very true. A similar thing happened with the Lord of the Rings. It sparked a new era of copycat fantasy books, but none of them get what made LOTR so great. I find it really interesting that you mention LOTR a few times in connection with Star Wars, because what drew people to them was quite similar I think:
- Basic good vs. evil story;
- Strong universe building–you really feel that the story takes place in a well-developed world in both of them;
- Archetypal characters;
- An internal logic that also doesn’t try to explain too much;
- A gritty (and thus believable) but also very magical world.
Unfortunately, people just try to copy the aliens and spaceships (in SW), or the different races and the magic (in LOTR), and miss almost everything that actually makes these films/books so appealing. Or their imitation suffers from a failure to write a good plot and they rely too heavily on the above-mentioned elements.