Hal 9000 said:
Just a quick random thought.
I’ve always had a tulmtous relationship with my Dad, who passed away a few years ago and who I believe to have had a case of high functioning autism. I have felt a great deal of immutable criticism from him and longed for affirmations or validations which were exceedingly rare. It’s been helpful for me to recognize some of the underlying factors and the limitations he was working with all along.
One reason I appreciate the original ‘old man’ ghost of Anakin at the end of ROTJ is because not only do we see Anakin redeemed in the unmasking scene, we even get to see him fully restored into the man he should have been all along. He doesn’t revert to a juvenile state, but is legitimately restored to become what he wasn’t able to be. I know it’s a bit silly, but the image of this sort of restored man smiling back at me speaks to this deep part of me. Able to say those things to me which perhaps he wasn’t before.
Awesome OT.com post of the week!™ 😃
That’s totally how I felt seeing Sebastian Shaw back in 1983. It’s the Anakin that could have/should have been. I couldn’t articulate it at the time, but it resonated. It’s a pity George overlooked the power of that image.
Make that two for Awesome OT.com post of the week!™.
To someone else’s point above; I don’t think Lucas missed the significance of the scene when he was removing it. I don’t think he ever understood the significance. He doesn’t strike me as someone who has a great deal of emotional depth. He’s done an ok job of emulating depth and understanding when it’s suppossed to be in a film, but it seems more from a construction point of view as opposed to emotional. There’s no shortage of interviews and stories of Lucas having weirdly disjointed and broken narratives in American Grafitti and Star Wars until Marcia stepped in to fix them.
Hal’s fantastic explanation of why and how a scene can connect with the audience is exactly why it should be in the film. I can’t imagine there’s anyone who doesn’t really understand why Lucas altered it. No doubt, Lucas made a lot of idiotic and wildly unnecessary changes to the OT, but inserting an actor from a film that came out twenty years later may be the most misguided. He ignored all semblance of depth and instead went with marketing. As he has done for decades, he put his needs ahead of those of the audience.