I agree. The PT ends where the OT begins, right down to the twin sunset on Tatooine. Going from ROTJ to TFA is far more jarring to me, where an obvious total victory is suddenly and without explanation completely reversed, while all the victors have become shadows of their former selves. General Solo has again become a smuggler in debt with everyone, who hides from his problems. Luke’s hiding from his problems on a rock, and has closed himself off from the Force. Even Leia has been demoted from princess, and senator to the general of an even smaller band of rebels, whilst Han and Leia have apparently won the worst parents of the year award.
This is my main issue with the ST. Despite the fact that they’re very good films, the story is just so nonsensical to me. What we’re told happened between VI and VII is far more interesting to me than what’s happening in VII and VIII. We’re right back where we started in the OT (if not worse, the rebels are down to a handful of folk on the falcon), with no real explanation as to how we got there after the triumphant victory in VI.
I would have much more enjoyed a story of how Ben got seduced by Snoke, how the First Order came to be, etc.
Many who don’t like it see things back where the OT began, but it isn’t. That is my point. While there are echoes of the OT in the ST (there were in the PT as well), the ST is telling a unique story that I don’t think we will totally see until the third story is out for us to follow the plots. In TLJ, the First Order has not yet taken over. Rey says it directly. While the Republic government and fleet have been wiped out, the First Order still has to actually seize power. They have only eliminated the other power that Snoke thought could stop him.
I disagree. The New Republic in TFA doesn’t play any role of significance, and by the start of TLJ it’s been written out of the story altogether. The destruction of Hosnian Prime is equivalent to the destruction of Alderaan, only bigger. The fact that the FO actually has to seize power also does not translate to the films, since the FO are behaving just like the Empire throughout both TFA and TLJ. There’s very little in the films, that suggest the FO are a rising power, a reality made all the more clear by the fact, that the destruction of the SKB doesn’t affect them in any way.
We are no in the same place at the end of TLJ that we were at the beginning of ANH. It is a must different landscape. For one thing, there were no Jedi on the Galactic stage in ANH. There is Luke and Rey in TLJ and Luke has just left a lasting impression to give power to the new rebellion. Please find that in the years leading up to ANH. Even Rebels doesn’t have such a public display of power, and definitely not one that spread like wildfire across the galaxy.
What public display of power? Luke made a symbolic act, only seen by a handful of rebels, and a legion of FO troops. The fact that people are inspired by this, is a good way to end the story on a note of hope, but considering that the rebels have been reduced to a dozen people on a single ship, I don’t see that as some great victory. I would consider the destruction of the first Death Star as being a far greater victory in both a military and symbolic sense. I would think the destruction of SKB, the FO’s home base, and their most powerful weapon should be much more important in a military, and symbolic sense, but RJ certainly turned that into a pretty hollow victory, considering TLJ’s events follow directly from TFA, and the fact that the FO were supposed to be a rising power. I predict, that the FO will have a firm grasp on the galaxy by the start of episode IX, whilst the rebels will still be struggling to survive. The fact that they survived at all, is to Luke’s credit, but considering he played a major role in getting the galaxy to this dark place, I again would not see it as a huge victory.
The mere existence of the Resistance and Leia’s role as its leader tells us that the new Republic is not what she had hoped and that she fears they do not take the First Order seriously. It paints a picture of a complacent Republic that is probably more worried about internal squabbles than a theoretical outside threat. That they had so few ships that the entire fleet was in orbit of the capital shows that it it was a very weak republic.
Yes, but in the service of rehashing the Empire versus rebels conflict of the OT. The only reason the New Republic is so complacent and weak, is because the writers of the ST desperately wanted to reset the Star Wars galaxy to a pre-BFE state, including a rebellion, stormtroopers, an Emperor figure, and a fallen Jedi student.
I seriously don’t get what some of you want. Do you want a sequel trilogy with a story or a pointless story set in a perfect Utopia? To get a story you have to have conflict and the easiest way to get it is for things to go wrong. In the ST we are getting, things went wrong about 15-20 years after ROTJ (and ROTJ wasn’t the last battle). That is 15-20 years when things went right. The Republic was flourishing and Han and Leia were together. And the worst part is you are blaming Kennedy, and Johnson and leaving out Lucas and Abrams. This whole ST is Lucas’s doing. He created a treatment, he sold his company, he turned it over to Kennedy. How much of his treatment they are using is unknown, but they are using his girl force sensitive hero and his exiled Luke and I bet there is a lot more they are using. But let’s sit tight and wait for IX before we write off the ST. We can’t even tell what the main story is, just like the redemption of Anakin/Vader didn’t become part of the story until ROTJ. In the PT, we all knew where it would end up so we knew the arc from the moment we heard the name Anakin.
I didn’t want two movies, that essentially remix the OT. I didn’t want Empire versus rebels 2.0 right down to the stormtroopers, x-wings, tie-fighters, and a Death Star. I didn’t want an another Jedi apprentice seduced by a Sith Lord wannabe. Been there, done that! What I wanted was an original story with original villains, and a completely different setup, that follows naturally from the events of ROTJ. I’m aware that’s a lot to ask for, but when it comes to Star Wars I have high expectations. I think TFA and TLJ are both pretty good films seen in a vaccuum, but as sequels to the OT, they’re a dissappointment to me.
But it is not a total rehash. Since you are focused on the Jedi/Sith part, in the PT you have Palpatine, a hidden sith lord, lose one apprentice, gain Dooku, all the while his aim is to turn Skywalker (the PT makes it very clear that Palpatine has been Anakin’s mentor from TPM on). In the OT, Palpatine has Vader. When they learn of Luke, they set the goal to turn him. When Luke finally comes before Palpatine, Palpatine no only tries to turn him, but tries to replace Vader. In the ST, Snoke has turned Ben/Kylo. Or has he. There is conflict an in order to end that conflict, Kylo kills his father only to find that conflict has grown not gone away. Snoke sees it and while Kylo tries to turn Rey, Snoke really doesn’t bother, instead having Kylo kill Rey. But that conflict has turned to resolve, not to destroy Rey, but to kill Snoke. And how the story plays out from there we don’t know. So from the Jedi/Sith/Whatever perspective, the three trilogies are completely different. In both the PT and the OT, the Jedi tale is much the same. Boy meets mentor, mentor dies, mentor arranges for another teacher. Boy is taught and becomes a Jedi. The third act for the PT and OT differ as one has the boy fall and the other has the boy redeem his father by sacrificing his life. The ST has a girl search for a mentor (the PT and OT didn’t have a search as the mentor just happened to find the boy), find him, have him refuse to teach her, relent and give some lessons. But then the girl leaves to learn on her own and the mentor dies and will train her from the grave. A couple of points are the same, but the rest is very very different in the ST.
i find it interesting that you think there are more similarities between the PT and the OT than the OT with the ST Jedi-wise. i think that most similarities between the PT and the OT are some very few plot points that were executed drastically differently using very different characters and a much different context, making your comparison feel forced to me.
and i still think that in the ST there have been more similarities (to the OT) in that regard anyway: comparing the trilogy’s Jedi’s journey itself, (which ends up being Rey’s journey) to Luke’s - both had a kind mentor who liked them and never refused to teach them stuff in the first movie, that ended up dying. then in the second installment they have to go to a distant place to find another mentor to train them, except that this time the mentor is, well, not what they expected at all, even refusing to train them at first. Rey/Luke even decide to leave the planet before they complete the training due to outside reasons.
now, Anakin has none of those similarities. he’s a kid in the first one, he loses his master, yes, but Obi-Wan never refuses to train him. he refuses to ‘rank him up’, but that’s a very different thing. from a certain point of view it might not be as different as i’m saying it is, but i still think it is regardless.
not to mention how similar the rest of the ST’s plot is to the OT’s makes it look like Rey is Luke 2.0 even more, except that she’s an overpowered version of him.
And we don’t have an all powerful, galaxy wide empire. We have a power on the Rim invading the core. Their first strike was the PT equivalent of destroying the Coruscant system (not Alderaan) and decapitating the fledgling Republic. Nothing in TLJ says that the FO have actually conquered anything yet. Rey says it will happen in weeks. Only hours or days have passed since the end of TFA. So the FO is in the position of the invader, not the local power. They are more like the Separatists in the Clone Wars. They are not the nearly all powerful Empire of the OT. They are the aggressors where in the OT the Rebels are the aggressors trying to unseat the tyrannical power.
but we do have a galaxy wide empire. let’s take a look at what the movies show us: in SW, the movie shows us a strong Empire, one that even has the power to blow up a planet! they have this huge moon-sized Death Star, and several cruisers. at the end of the movie, the moon sized battle station is destroyed, which is a big hit to the empire. after that we see several cruisers in TESB and even more cruisers and another half completed DS in RotJ. those are the imperial forces that are shown to us in the OT, and they give us the idea that the empire is a very wealthy, influent and large organization, given that even when their superweapon was destroyed they were still extremely powerful.
with that in mind, let’s head on to TFA. it shows us that the FO has a humongous force too. they have built not a moon sized battle station, but a planet sized one. that’s huge, and must have cost a lot of money and manpower. plus we see a few cruisers. now, at the end of that movie the battle station is destroyed too, like in SW, which, of course, leads us to believe that it’s going to be a great hit to the FO.
TLJ follows TFA directly (as you said, one movie is hours apart from the other), so they had the opportunity to show us a scattered First Order, struggling to survive now that the Resistance blew up the thing they had invested in the most, not only making all that investment pretty ineffective but also killing billions of their men. instead, TLJ shows us a First Order that’s stronger than TESB’s Empire. they didn’t even seem to take the hit of the destruction of the base at all, to the point where it’s mentioned MAYBE twice in the movie - which is telling of their power.
considering all of that i find it hard to believe that the First Order is a limping force in the galaxy and not the dominant one.
You keep focusing on some small points of similarity and saying it is the same, yet when you dig in to the details they are not. I am really finding the nature of this argument to be very much like the arguments against the PT (why is Anakin a boy, why all the politics, etc., etc., etc.), the only difference is the quality of the finished product - at least to some. I really can’t see the substance of all the TLJ hate. Most was setup in TFA and TLJ just carries on the story. And the story appears to be close to GL’s treatment (definitely the Luke arc), but with characters created by Abrams (one thing he is very good at).
a couple of plot points in the PT are the same as in the OT, yes, but it’s nothing compared to how TFA’s plot was basically Star Wars’. and the natural progression to that story was there in TLJ again - we basically had TESB and RotJ for the first 3 acts of TLJ, with the 4th act being the most original aspect of the movie (alongside canto bight and a other story beats).
the thing is, the similarities between the OT and the PT are nothing more than a few plot points. the similarities between the OT and the ST are not only a heck of a lot of plot points, but how similarly executed they are, even with the story being told getting similar at times.