Originally posted by: CO
I disagree with ya there Tiptup, cause SW'77 or ANH is the one that suffers with the saga now, not ESB or ROTJ. You have to look at it this way when you watch it 1-6 in that order. The story is established and focused on the jedi vs sith, not the common man like the OT established. You follow in the PT the story of Anakin, Kenobi, and QuiGon for 3 movies along with The Emperor rising to power, and then you have characters like Mace & Yoda, who are both jedi too. The only non-jedi character is Padme, and she is a queen/senator, so she has EVERYTHING to do with the politics of the rise and fall of the Empire.
Now you get to Episode IV, and all of the sudden you have this movie that deals with a bunch of common guys like Luke, Leia, and Han battling the Evil Empire, while the movie has humor spread throughout that actually makes it a pretty funny sci-fi movie in some respects. The only main character who is a jedi is Ben Kenobi. So you have an audience who has followed around the jedi/sith battle for 3 movies, and all of the sudden they are wondering what happened to Yoda & The Emperor?
On top of that they are used to huge CGI environments in the PT movies, and now are stuck in a movie on a dessert for the first hour, which luckily resembles Tatooine in TPM, and the claustophobic deathstar for the second half, something will have to give, either you love one or the other? On top of that, they followed Anakin and his story for 3 movies, and now he is in the movie for about 15 minutes?
I agree with all of this. The original Star Wars does suffer heavily from the "1-6 saga" perspective. It's definitely an incredibly different film in style and in content from the "preceding" three and its story has practically nothing to do with what they featured. It's about some nobody farm boy with piloting skills and special powers who chooses to help fight against an evil empire. With the prequels on their minds, people will be less inclined to focus on all of that and will waste the film asking stupid PT based questions. Not only that, but much of the drama for Star Wars is weakened by the fact that it no longer introduces Darth Vader, the force, Obiwan/Ben and some other things. I certainly don't want to claim that the film has gone unharmed by Lucas’ latest actions.
Originally posted by: CO
ESB/ROTJ were atleast made with the Anakin/Luke relationship in mind, and that fits with the PT movies, so in that respect they work a hell of alot better then Episode IV does. ESB has a glimpse of the Emperor, and it is about the same amount of time he gets in AOTC. It has Yoda for a huge part of the movie, so now it is dealing again with jedi issues as the MAIN story. And finally you get the Vader/Luke battle at the end which finally continues on the story of why Anakin turned in Episode III.
ESB doesn't suffer, ROTJ doesn't suffer, ANH does big time. The irony of the whole saga thing now is Lucas actually fucked up his best movie he ever directed, cause anyone who sees it 1-6 will not love it as much as someone who sees it as their 1st SW movie.
This is where I disagree. You're actually trying to say that ESB doesn't suffer from the completed saga? (I think Empire suffers from it more than even the original Star Wars does.)
Maybe you don't remember what Empire Strikes Back is about (as a film), but it certainly isn't about the damn 1-6 saga. Maybe it has more content that relates it to the PT story (particularly when you get to the fight with Vader at the end) but that story’s not what the movie is supposed to be about!
If you take some time to remember what we knew when we only had the OT, Empire was continuing the story of that farm boy and his friends (not Darth Vader and the Emperor). Darth Vader was merely an evil, monster of a man who, as far as anyone knew, had gained an obsession to find Luke. As you remember, we knew nothing about Master Yoda; all we knew was that Luke was being delayed from finding him due to the strangeness of the little green creature helping him. Meanwhile his friends (who we cared about) were in danger but they weren't anything more than friends to him (maybe Leia was a potential love interest). Luke met Leia because she was working for the Alliance, and Han, Chewie, C3PO, and R2D2 were other friends he met in his previous adventure. I see no focus on a conflict between the Jedi and the Sith.
To the degree that you argue the original Star Wars is hurt by the 1-6 saga, I can then argue that much of what made Empire important is also now obscured. It still primarily focuses on those wisecracking adventurers from the first film. All we have now, if anything, is greater amount of character drama making us more inclined to care about them. But, if we spend the whole time wondering when the PT's story will resume, Empire’s strengths will also be ignored.
Thankfully, both the original Star Wars and Empire can still shine through the distractions of the prequel trilogy in many ways. For example, Luke, Ben, Leia, Han, Chewie, and the droids are still compelling and likable characters. Also, while the fight against the Empire seems to not make as much sense when our minds are locked into the "Jedi vs. Sith" nonsense, the fight for the rebellion is still portrayed in its original form for people to immerse themselves in (if they can).
So much of what makes Star Wars an amazing film is still available to be experienced if a viewer just accepts it for what it is and lets it do its thing. The only bad part is how some of the historical revelations about Luke are ruined before they're even revealed by Ben. Thankfully we don't have too much ruined in this way and most of the character drama of the film is untouched by the prequels. However, the same cannot be said for Empire Strikes Back.
People will already know who Yoda is and will be bothered by the fact that Luke doesn't know. People will already know that Darth Vader is Luke's Father and they'll laugh at Luke for expressing horror and be annoyed by his unbelief. The fact that we have the presence of the Emperor in one scene and that we have a greater role for Vader will only serve to annoy people by pointing out how slow it takes Luke, the chosen son, to be initiated into the larger story (his destiny from birth).
So much of what made ESB the best film of the series is now meaningless. Its remaining good points are just as weakened as the original Star Wars good points (with only a lightsaber battle at the end to offset this). All of the great care the movie went through to make each important revelation special and dramatic is now for absolutely nothing and certainly of no effect. Then, to put the rotten cherry on top, the most exciting and emotionally-moving part in Empire, where Luke, Leia, and the others are escaping from Cloud City is ruined by a lame dialogue change for Darth Vader (that isn't even acted well) and a long sequence involving a shuttle landing on the Super Star destroyer!
I don't see how Empire doesn't suffer. (Certainly not how it harmonizes with the PT story.)
I suppose if you want to say that RotJ doesn't suffer then I'll be willing to agree with you more there. While the primary focus is still on Luke, Leia and Han, it shows enough of the Jedi vs. Sith story to keep the PT fan interested. Otherwise, I would argue that RotJ actually helps downplay the importance of ESB as a film by supplying relatively lame resolutions to all of its cliff hangers.
The original Star Wars can still stand on its own as a standalone story (if people can ignore the concerns of the saga). Empire Strikes Back needs the original Star Wars and a lack of prequel trilogy knowledge to remain as amazing as it was. Now, while still being a good film, Lucas has destroyed a whole lot of what made it great.