Originally posted by: Gaffer Tape
Well, I think the nature of prequels makes it so that it's harder to accept changes than with sequels. With sequels, you get a feel of expansion, that the things you see in the sequel are added on to the nature of the first movie. So you still have Star Wars the way it always was, but Empire was the next Lego block to be stacked onto it, and the same with Jedi. But with prequels, it's harder for both the creator and the audience to get on board. As zombie's book points out, it's much easier to simply state that this is what happened then actually showing it in detail. I mean, for a generation, fans of the trilogy were pretty much on board with the fact that Obi-Wan trained Luke's father, who became evil and became Darth Vader. Talking about it in the original trilogy made sense. So why, when the facts were established and the audience had already accepted those facts, did it become so hard to make movies expanding upon that? Because it's easier to vaguely explain than actually show. Add to that the fact that all those allusions back to the OT (which make it quite obvious to me that the intended audience for the PT is already established viewers of the OT, not the other way around) are pretty contrived and ridiculous... but are they more so contrived than what the sequels added to the first Star Wars? Or can we just accept the sequel changes easier because they are sequels and not prequels, and due to our own acceptance of storytelling, we can still view the first movie in its original context while we have a harder time doing that with stories set chronologically previously?
As for me, I'm relatively young. I was not there for any of the original screenings. My history of Star Wars begins in 1995, the first time I saw (and owned) the movies on videocassette, the infamous "One last time..." Faces set. And so my history of Star Wars comes from what Lucas said in those Leonard Maltin interviews that accompany the movies. You know, the one where he claimed that the entire trilogy was really originally one movie that he had to cut into three parts because of running time and cost. I now know that that is complete bull (a mindset totally solidified by zombie's great book), but being a nine-year-old boy at the time who hadn't been there at the beginning (or even at the end) and who had no reason to believe the creator of the movies was lying, that was my accepted history of Star Wars for many years. In short, I held the trilogy mindset. That was my fandom. A few years later, I saw the prequels and enjoyed them but never even tried to integrate them into what I considered to be the main story. I cringed at all the horrible retcons, like Anakin building 3PO. So I stayed pretty consistent with my fandom. And later I would learn more of the truth of Star Wars. And now I feel adequately knowledged in real Star Wars lore. And I can honestly say I'm not one of those who lets nostalgia get in the way. As soon as I found out that "Episode IV A New Hope" was not originally in Star Wars, I immediately dismissed that subtitle, even though it was what I had grown up with for years, completely unaware of anything different, and I didn't look back. In fact, seeing releases with that subtitle in there (anything but the GOUT, I guess), it makes me cringe just a little bit because I know it's not supposed to be there, and that's not what audiences in May of 1977 saw. But on the other end of the spectrum, I can even get myself to see the whole "Saga" perspective. Is it my preferred perspective? No. Is that how I would choose to introduce anybody to Star Wars? Certainly not. In fact, I discourage people from seeing the prequels first. But it's an interesting perspective that I can choose to see once in a while, despite its flaws. And I can see Star Wars as a trilogy, like the way I grew up, which follows Luke from a young farmboy to becoming a Jedi and redeeming his father. And, especially now that I know the truth, I can see Star Wars as a single movie, about a farmboy named Luke who saves a princess, uncovers a mysterious power, and defends the galaxy against evil, becoming a hero. Luke CO, I don't view it with all the things the sequels and prequels add to it. I view it on its own, coming at it as completely new. And then I choose to see the other two movies that came after it, to see what they add to the original story, taking it one movie at a time and realizing what was made up later, and that it's simply a new movie. I don't pretend to be Anchorhead or anyone else who was actually there. I wasn't. I don't have that experience. But I do have the knowledge of what was what and try to relive that in my own little world, as if I was there.
So to actually weigh in on the original question, no, I don't disregard it. I accept it. I think it's rather lame, but I accept it when I watch Return of the Jedi. When I view the movies as a trilogy, I apply that bit of information to prior events to see how it fits in. A lot of times, it doesn't necessarily. It doesn't blatantly contradict, like a lot of the things in the prequels, but it doesn't necessarily flow. Leia kissing Luke in the first two movies doesn't contradict the possibility that they're related, it would just be classified as a shoddy bit of storytelling, especially if you're causing people to labor under the impression you'd had all this planned out from the beginning. And then, when I watch the movies taking one at a time, I only apply Leia being Luke's sister when it's introduced to me and do my best to flow with it from there.
thank you. That's the key difference. It's a continuation, not a retconning of the original that completely contradicts it like several of the pt changes that have invaded the original trilogy mucking up the whole saga. People who saw star wars have the choice of just not caring for the sequels. People who see the special editions and pt and are ignorant to how star wars was originally concieved have no choice unfortunately.
For example, i think terminator 3 was an alternate universe story and I'm sticking to that.
edit: seriously. the way some are so abhorrant towards the family revelations in esb and rotj, it's as if this was done to anh (preview of next special edition) Greedo Shoots first, and second, and third and...