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Monsters

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 (Edited)

How critical are "monsters" to the Star Wars fiction?

ANH
Krayt Dragon (call and skeleton)
Dewbacks
Banthas
Dianoga

ESB
Wampa
Tauntaun
Space slug
Whatever eats R2

RotJ
Rancor
Sarlaac

It seems like something I don't strictly care about, but has always been a focus of the OT.  I don't think a lot of the EU concerns itself with monster scenes.  Unless it's reusing stuff from the OT.

 

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

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xhonzi said:

How critical are "monsters" to the Star Wars fiction?

ANH
Krayt Dragon (call and skeleton)
Dewbacks
Banthas
Dianoga

ESB
Wampa
Tauntaun
Space slug
Whatever eats R2

RotJ
Rancor
Sarlaac

It seems like something I don't strictly care about, but has always been a focus of the OT.  I don't think a lot of the EU concerns itself with monster scenes.  Unless it's reusing stuff from the OT.

 

I think the monsters in the OT were all a lot of fun, adding to the whole galactic fantasy feel. 

The EU is too busy writing treatises on the nature of good and evil to worry about fighting monsters. Except that rancors exist on every planet in the galaxy.

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Yeah, Rancors were specifically what I was thinking of when I thought of EU reuse.  Unless you count Sand Wampas as being an actually thing.

I think it's a pilllar of the Star Wars formula that's often unthought of.

TPM
Big Fish. Bigger Fish, Biggest Fish

AotC
Gladiator Rhino, Mountain Cat, etc..

RotS
Obi-Wan's feathered lizard mount?

Am I forgetting something?

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

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Time

I was one of the Monsters of Megaphone.

http://i.ytimg.com/vi/6PlhJOzH0gY/hqdefault.jpg

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No, you weren't.

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

Author
Time

 

They also turned up in the Ewok Adventure--that cave bird creature and the giant whatchamacallit. I think the Endor scenes in ROTJ could have benefited from that giant.

 

 

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You mean the Gorax. Since the Ewok movies allegedly take place before Jedi now, he was long dead before the Empire showed up. ;)

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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 (Edited)

xhonzi said:

 

TPM
Big Fish. Bigger Fish, Biggest Fish


*snort*

Where do the sand people fit into this discussion?  Are they monsters?

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Sluggo said:

xhonzi said:

 

TPM
Big Fish. Bigger Fish, Biggest Fish


*snort*

Where do the sand people fit into this discussion?  Are they monsters?

There seem to be 3 or 4 classifications:

Human or might as well be human Character:
Luke
Ackbar
Greedo
Twi'leks
Yoda

Alien, but still pretty human (maybe humans with learning disorders, or too much TV during development years)
Chewie
Ewoks
Sandpeople
Gamorreans

Alien, but are just Animals-
Tauntauns
Womprat
Banthas
Mynocks

And then the monsters.
Sarlaac
Rancor
etc..

But then you have Jabba.  What group is he in?  There are some others that blur the lines.

 

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

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Time

Are you categorizing those by their physical appearance or by their function to the plot?

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Time

Physical appearance, state of brain activity.

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

Author
Time

Role in society.

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

Author
Time

xhonzi said:

Role in society.

I would think this nudges them closer to monster, but it is a tough call.  Do you all think their portrayal in the prequels is an adequate reflection of them in Star Wars?

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The impression I got of Sand people in the original was scary territorial nomads who are best avoided. The novel pretty much says this in the photo insert. The snipers on the pod race course are consistent with that. It's interesting we never saw them (or at least heard them) in Jedi. Jabba's palace isn't exactly in a nice neighborhood!

If you follow the old school of thought about how Star Wars is a "space western", the sand people fill the same plot function as hostile indian tribes would. This would also make the Jawas the friendly tribes settlers could do business with.

Kidnapping Anakin's mom, and basically torturing her seems needlessly sadistic, even for them. Unless it's yet another component of Palpy's decades long plan of improbable events helping his rise to power...

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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"Kidnapping Anakin's mom, and basically torturing her seems needlessly sadistic"

 

Not only that - I can be made to believe the impossible, but not the improbable. The whole kidnapping thing (from my limited memory) seems out of place (including the dreams) and convenient in terms of plot. I mean, everyone thinks she's dead but there she is clinging onto life until Anakin turns up and she decides to die on him. Great timing. Unintelligently contrived like so much else in the prequels.

 

I really need to stop dredging up these memories I have of watching the prequels. They are just plain bad filmmaking as much as anything else. Technically brilliant but creatively bankrupt.

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Yoda pretty much did the same thing in ROTJ and he wasn't kidnapped, tortured or even looking that frail (other than a light cough and wonky eyes).

The Tories would be pushing him onto the street to sweep up litter with symptoms like that.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6Dp2OfIT_M

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SilverWook said:

The impression I got of Sand people in the original was scary territorial nomads who are best avoided. The novel pretty much says this in the photo insert. The snipers on the pod race course are consistent with that.

If you follow the old school of thought about how Star Wars is a "space western", the sand people fill the same plot function as hostile indian tribes would.

Kidnapping Anakin's mom, and basically torturing her seems needlessly sadistic, even for them.

 I think given that we only have two actions to judge the Sand People on

  • attacking, robbing, and abducting a young man for unknown reasons.
  • Taking pot shots at people for no benefit to themselves

 

It seems odd to me to label kidnapping a lone defenseless women as somehow out of character. They seem like a pretty vicious people.

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Didn't the pod race course cross their territory? And the first time we see them in Star Wars, one is about to shoot at Luke's landspeeder. It's implied he's going out into a dangerous area looking for Artoo.

Luke tells Threepio it's too dangerous to go out at night because of Sand People. IIRC, Ani's mom gets grabbed in the morning, presumably when the sun is up, because nobody who's spent a lifetime living on Tatooine would be going mushroom hunting at night. If it was still dark out, then she did a dumb thing in service of the plot.

A simple kidnapping to gain a wife or slave might be in character. (Right out of old westerns.) The torture part makes no sense, other than to have Shmi croak the minute Anakin gets there, so he can go nuts right on cue. A nomadic tribe with limited sources of water can't afford to waste anything on keeping someone alive just to beat them.

I've probably just given the whole kidnap scenario more thought than George did! ;)

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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This is where I think they are more like monsters.  Reminiscent of Michael Meyers from the original Halloween movies.  Just some unstoppable monster who goes out and kills for no reason. 

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The kidnap of Shmoo Skywalker is clearly a riff on all those Westerns where a native American tribe kidnap/torture and/or kill a close female relative of one of the major characters.

Lucas likes to pinch racial stereotypes of the past and slap them onto aliens.

Stepin Fetchit Binks, Watto Fagin, Naoto Gunray etc.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6Dp2OfIT_M

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SilverWook said:

Didn't the pod race course cross their territory? And the first time we see them in Star Wars, one is about to shoot at Luke's landspeeder. It's implied he's going out into a dangerous area looking for Artoo.

Luke tells Threepio it's too dangerous to go out at night because of Sand People. IIRC, Ani's mom gets grabbed in the morning, presumably when the sun is up, because nobody who's spent a lifetime living on Tatooine would be going mushroom hunting at night.

A simple kidnapping to gain a wife or slave might be in character. (Right out of old westerns.) The torture part makes no sense, other than to have Shmi croak the minute Anakin gets there, so he can go nuts right on cue. A nomadic tribe with limited sources of water can't afford to waste anything on keeping someone alive just to beat them.

 

 "Their territory" is a tricky concept if the Sandpeople are a nomadic people. "Dangerous areas" for settlers tends to mean places they haven't managed to kill off enough of the local nomads yet. I doubt there's a sign that says "NO TUSKENS" that the Sandpeople stop at. And since AOTC is 20 years before Star Wars I think it's a possibility that there were more Tuskens and less settlers, meaning more danger.

So Shmi was picking mushrooms, normally safe, but a group of Tusken Raiders picked that morning to go raiding (it's what they do) and she was unlucky enough to be caught. It's a risk people take settling in dangerous territory. No reason to assume she was 'dumb' at all or that it had to be dark.

Since Sand People, every time we see them do anything are in a state of active agression against the settled people of Tattooine, I don't see why its unlikely they would kidnap a settler if the oppurtunity arose. If they then beat/tortured/raped her (never made clear in the film) that plays right into their normal pattern.

Since 2 of the 3 times we see Sandpeople they are taking hostages, I disagree that they must lack the resources to take hostages. Instead I would say clearly they do have the resources, because they do it.

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 (Edited)

Michael Meyers is clearly a person, though you might describe him as a "monster of a person".  I'm taking about killer sharks and whatnot as "monsters".

I think the sandpeople are clearly meant to be people.  They wear clothes, they fire guns, they eat McRibs = People.  Perhaps uncivilized, or monsters of people... but people.

Whereas a Wampa is meant to be a scary monster.  Grrr!

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

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Time

Damn, I've been calling them Sandmonsters all these years...

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Pics or it didn't happen.

 

Ok, lets get back to the original question.

I think monsters are essential to the story if one looks at the stories as the Heroes Journey with all of the Joseph Campbell archetypes.  Dragons need to be slain if one is rescuing the princess.