Yes, I am going to be putting out a long defense of The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, in the form of a single essay similar to that one rebuttal to Plinkett’s review of The Phantom Menace — it is designed to refute almost every single criticism I have seen be used towards these movies, I am also hoping to explain it in much detail in a way for people to understand as to where I, alongside fellow prequel and sequel fans, are coming from (yes, I enjoy and defend both trilogies). I am still in the process of writing it, I am more focusing on the sequel trilogy at the moment.
Below is a draft of the opening section…
The Skywalker saga. The trilogy of trilogies. One of the most popular film franchises of all time, alongside the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth saga, the Harry Potter film octology, and many more. And sadly, one of, if not the most misunderstood of them all…
For so long, many seemed to have misunderstood the Skywalker saga — I am sorry if it comes across as… uh, harassment towards that particular group of people, but usually as a result of not paying much attention to the films — , to the point where misconceptions regarding the movies had been spreading for the past few decades and those who had internalized these turned against much of its installments, more specifically the prequel and sequel trilogies, respectively, because of these.
It has been getting me on my nerves for quite some time now, and in response… well, here is a long response to this, addressing each and almost every common criticism I have seen for the prequel and sequel trilogies, respectively, and put these to rest, for better or worse.
One might call out many of these explanations as “headcanon,” “mental gymnastics” or things that “are not supported by the films at all,” even though neither of these are the case — instead, they rely on inference.
For those unaware of what “inference” is, look at this scene from Infinity War. Here, Thanos is communicating with a younger Gamora after activating the Infinity Stones with that snap of his fingers. Given that Thanos had sacrificed Gamora for the Soul Stone earlier in the film, and that the location the both of them are residing in at that point is of the color orange, the same color of the Soul Stone, one can infer that Thanos is literally inside of the Soul Stone.
On the topic of inference, I am going to be bringing up pieces of evidence (from which information is inferable) in a large amount of my responses to specific criticisms, as a way of preventing others from accusing me of reaching or creating “headcanon that is not in the movies” or using “mental gymnastics”.
There are no uses of “maybe” or “perhaps” anywhere throughout the essay, to avoid the risk of people acting as if I was saying something that is plausible but did not actually happen, regardless of whether it is surface-level information or an inference — for example, any time I respond to a supposed plot hole such as, “Why did X do this or that?”, I am not going to say, “Perhaps/maybe X was, say, motivated by this or that!”
Regarding the sequel trilogy, the responses to criticisms for each film relies on information from its prior installments and itself, it does not use information from its follow-ups, I am trying to frame it as if the film was recently released which was when the criticism would have to first… pop up; for example, when I am discussing The Last Jedi in this essay I am only going to be using information from itself as well as its prior installments, I am not going to be using information from its follow-up, The Rise of Skywalker.
As for the prequel trilogy, well… the films are supposed to be the prequels to the original trilogy; any responses to criticisms directed at supposed plot holes and continuity errors use information from the prequel and original trilogies.
I just want to mention that I am not trying to convince any of you that any of these movies are “good,” I am just trying to say that all of the things I am going to be addressing throughout this essay all make sense within the context of the movies and are capable of being justified by applying logic and closely analyzing the films, inferring information from dialogue, visuals, acting, character backgrounds and already-established facts while also using evidence that is explicitly shown or told to us.
In short, it isn’t to say that, “The prequels and sequels are good movies,” but it is to say that, “Saying ‘X does not make any sense’ is false, given from what is inferred from, shown or told in the films.”
It is fine if you do not like any of these movies, in fact, go ahead, but I just want to help you guys understand them better, to see what George Lucas, Jonathan Hales, J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan, Rian Johnson and Chris Terrio were all going for, whether it was intentional or accidental.
I would like to note that the information stated throughout the essay is only from the movies, there is not going to be any mention of information from ancillary material such as the movie novelizations, as I agree with the notion that one should not have to go outside of a movie and rely on ancillary material in order to fix major story flaws so the movie would make logical sense and be enjoyable by itself.
Throughout the essay, you are going to be noticing things in bold with others usually being in a regular font emphasis; anything that is in bold represents the criticisms I shall be dealing with, and anything that uses a regular font emphasis represents the responses themselves to the criticisms — italics will appear every now and then, but only in the case of, well… putting titles in italics, as well as emphasizing some of the more specific points.
For each film, the criticisms and their respective responses are going to be lined up in a way as if you are going through the movie from start to finish.
And be warned, I may come across as a little stern, but I just hope you guys understand the points I am trying to make throughout the essay…
I really want some feedback for this draft; I feel it needs a bit more elaboration, or I might be framing or wording things incorrectly, there also might be things you could add to this.
Anyway, thoughts? Suggestions for the draft of this section?
Rey Skywalker: An Arc of Self-Worth