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Similarities Between the Original Trilogy and the Prequel Trilogy

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I remember (maybe I’m imagining this) at one point on Wikipedia or Wookiepedia there was literally a list of all the OT echoes in the PT. When I was young I thought it was really cool, and I really dug Lucas’s philosophy of “it’s like poetry, it rhymes.” Apparently not everyone finds this cool, or at least, they didn’t until the ST did it too much and now, supposedly, the PT did it well.

Lucas has stated outright that the films of the PT are meant to mirror the OT. He states that instead of seeing the conflict of TPM from the outsider’s perspective of two droids, it’s the outsider’s perspective of two Jedi (but how does that make sense George, the Jedi are integral to the plot - well, the droids are too). The pairs are on a mission to help a captive young Princess/Queen (who has crucial information she needs to deliver). On their way they get sidetracked and end up on the desert planet of Tatooine, where they meet a boy who longs to become a pilot. The old Jedi master character recognizes his force potential and wants him to become a Jedi. The boy leaves Tatooine with them, presumably never to return (which ends up not being true). On the ship, the royal girl comforts the boy with a blanket. In the climactic battle, the boy ends up destroying the sphere shaped space station (with the help of R2), saving the day. Elsewhere, the older Jedi master mentor character is killed by a Darth in a lightsaber duel. The final scene is a victory celebration.

In AOTC, like TESB, there’s another galactic civil war waging, and a large scale ground battle set piece. The heroes are split into different plots. Two of the leads fall in love over the course of their story (the third lead has no love interest), their first kiss is interrupted, and right before it seems like one or both of them might die, the woman professes her love. Skywalker leaves his mission to follow a vision he has (but he’s too late). There’s a bounty hunter Fett involved. A chase through an asteroid field. The good guy ship uses garbage to getaway, and powers down the ship and hides. C-3PO ends up in pieces and R2 drags him. A Darth extends an offer to one of our heroes to join him. Skywalker loses his right hand in a lightsaber duel.

ROTS, like ROTJ, begins with a lengthy sequence where our heroes have to rescue their friend from a bad guy, who gets killed by one of the heroes. There’s a battle on a forest planet with hairy creatures. There’s a high speed chase scene in the middle of the film. Skywalker faces the ultimate test of whether or not he will turn to the dark side. In one scene, Skywalker uses his anger to best a Darth (who previously beat him) in a duel while Palpatine looks on, goading. In another scene, Anakin/Vader watches as someone he cares for suffers force lightning, then turns, lashing out at his former ally who ends up dropped down from a large height. The climactic duel is Skywalker facing off against his father figure - but the good guy is reluctant to fight. One of the final moments is a funeral for one of the main characters of the trilogy. Anakin/Vader finally puts on the mask/takes it off.

These are specific ones relating entries to their respective entries, but there’s more than that. The parental figures the Skywalker boys grew up with are killed, in ANH and AOTC. TPM’s climax actually closely mirrors ROTJ’s (lightsaber duel + ground battle with native species + space battle to destroy station), and then in both we get a pyre funeral right after and then a victory celebration. In AOTC, we get a bar scene where Obi-wan cuts off someone’s arm. Obi-wan says “hello there” in both trilogies. Anakin says “this is where the fun begins,” a Han Solo line. Both trilogies feature a prominent shot of people looking at the setting twin suns at the Lars homestead, backed by the force theme (speaking of the Lars homestead, a couple scenes in AOTC and ANH feature the same locations and even the same camera angles). Not to mention countless other intentional visual references that are hard to describe, like R2 knocking off C-3PO (AOTC droid factory and ROTJ sail barge). Plus all the things I’m forgetting.

I think that the whole “similarity” aspect of the PT helps the movies quite a bit, in many ways, giving the stories a mirror to compare and contrast to, enhancing the themes and characters at play. Ultimately, the prequels are a failure, but not for this reason, which I think makes them rather interesting. Honestly, more often then not, when the PT tries to do something different, those are the times it fails spectacularly (to pick the worst aspect from each - Jar Jar Binks in general, the forbidden romance, and turning to the dark to save Padme).

Well folks, debate away (but please, keep the debate PT-oriented).

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I actually like Anakin turning to the dark side because of his attachment. Ultimately, it is his attachment to Luke that brings Anakin back to the light, not any kind of moral epiphany. To me, this parallel highlights how love can have this “double nature of being both condemning and redeeming”. It also demonstrates how the Jedi’s view on love was flawed. It can be a weakness, but it also can be a strength. It can have two sides, just like the Force. And this dualism is something Luke discovers as he grows into a wiser Jedi.

I also figured I would link the Star Wars Ring Theory since it seems relevant to the thread. I’m not necessarily agreeing with the writer’s conclusion, but there are clearly many parallels between the trilogies that he highlights throughout his blog posts. Might be interesting to touch on them in this thread.

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RogueLeader said:

I actually like Anakin turning to the dark side because of his attachment. Ultimately, it is his attachment to Luke that brings Anakin back to the light, not any kind of moral epiphany. To me, this parallel highlights how love can have this “double nature of being both condemning and redeeming”. It also demonstrates how the Jedi’s view on love was flawed. It can be a weakness, but it also can be a strength. It can have two sides, just like the Force. And this dualism is something Luke discovers as he grows into a wiser Jedi.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t disagree. The offhanded comment I made wasn’t about the concept or its connection to the OT, it was just more about how Anakin turning to the dark over the course of ROTS is its main plot (unlike ROTJ), and its execution is less than stellar.

I also figured I would link the Star Wars Ring Theory since it seems relevant to the thread. I’m not necessarily agreeing with the writer’s conclusion, but there are clearly many parallels between the trilogies that he highlights throughout his blog posts. Might be interesting to touch on them in this thread.

Yes I meant to touch on this. I have similar thoughts to you, interesting theory but I don’t completely agree.

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It’s nice that people enjoy these kinds of lists but it doesn’t make them feel the same or have the same kind of viewing experience. Beyond a few visual effects set pieces and John Williams moments. The entire Ring Theory idea is hilarious straw grasping from what I’ve read, while ironically showing that the films don’t hold up by themselves and need pages of fan theory gibberish to make them have anything compelling under the surface. The idea that any of the current movies are making the PT seem better in hindsight is also hilarious considering that they’ve managed to at least have memorable/likeable characters and discussions of the Force which aren’t outright embarrassing. There are a lot of odd people out there but those claiming the PT is genius for copying the OT while bemoaning the ST as a rehash or some of the oddest.

Yub Nub for life

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DrDre said:

This article represents a fairly balanced view on how I percieve the PT, and its relation to the OT, in the wake of the ST:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/screenrant.com/star-wars-prequels-disney-fan-backlash/amp/

I wish the final section (the one germane to this topic) was a bit more fleshed out. As is they just say a few basic statements about the PT - that there was “forward-planning” and that it was nice that they “highlighted a different ruling era” that was “detached and alien” - that I personally cannot agree with. The only forward-planning that existed was simply basic beats that everyone knew would be hit by virtue of them being prequels. As for the drastically different aesthetics of the different era, I personally believe this was a chief failing of the films, and one way in which more similarity would have been better, to feel more cohesive.

I think I’ve said it before, but Star Wars as it existed on screen in the OT was not at all what Lucas had in mind for the world. With the PT he was finally able to put his vision on screen. He added the “rhymes” and tied everything up with a bow at the end of ROTS to provide connective tissue, but ultimately it’s clear he didn’t care much for how the OT ended up.

It’s funny, because I never needed to “forgive” the prequels, as the article’s headline states. When the films came out I loved them. In retrospect, so many years later however, it’s clearer and clearer how Lucas dropped the ball in terms of continuing the saga in a fitting way. Ultimately it’s hard for me to reconcile the two trilogies, but the “poetry” of it all certainly helps, I think, to make the story cohesive.

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DominicCobb said:

DrDre said:

This article represents a fairly balanced view on how I percieve the PT, and its relation to the OT, in the wake of the ST:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/screenrant.com/star-wars-prequels-disney-fan-backlash/amp/

I wish the final section (the one germane to this topic) was a bit more fleshed out. As is they just say a few basic statements about the PT - that there was “forward-planning” and that it was nice that they “highlighted a different ruling era” that was “detached and alien” - that I personally cannot agree with. The only forward-planning that existed was simply basic beats that everyone knew would be hit by virtue of them being prequels. As for the drastically different aesthetics of the different era, I personally believe this was a chief failing of the films, and one way in which more similarity would have been better, to feel more cohesive.

I think I’ve said it before, but Star Wars as it existed on screen in the OT was not at all what Lucas had in mind for the world. With the PT he was finally able to put his vision on screen. He added the “rhymes” and tied everything up with a bow at the end of ROTS to provide connective tissue, but ultimately it’s clear he didn’t care much for how the OT ended up.

It’s funny, because I never needed to “forgive” the prequels, as the article’s headline states. When the films came out I loved them. In retrospect, so many years later however, it’s clearer and clearer how Lucas dropped the ball in terms of continuing the saga in a fitting way. Ultimately it’s hard for me to reconcile the two trilogies, but the “poetry” of it all certainly helps, I think, to make the story cohesive.

I sort of had a reverse experience, where I initially didn’t want to admit, that they felt off, then I went through a period of intense dislike, and then as I started to evaluate what I liked, and disliked about the ST, I came to re-evaluate the PT, and saw it in a more positive light.

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Interesting perspectives!

As a third perspective, I’ve gone from loving the prequels as a kid for the spectacle, to disliking them for their flaws as a teenager, to coming back appreciate their strengths and accepting their weaknesses, acknowledging that they can have both good and bad, but I can still enjoy them as a part of this larger story.

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RogueLeader said:

Interesting perspectives!

As a third perspective, I’ve gone from loving the prequels as a kid for the spectacle, to disliking them for their flaws as a teenager, to coming back appreciate their strengths and accepting their weaknesses, acknowledging that they can have both good and bad, but I can still enjoy them as a part of this larger story.

I think I’ll always be able to enjoy them, that part of me has never changed. For the last few years though it’s been hard to watch them and not think of all the could-have-been-betters (as someone who’s trying to make fan edits of them, this is even more heightened). For me this has been especially in light of the ST, which in my opinion puts the PT to shame in nearly every respect (in fact I almost gave up on my PT edits after TFA). But I will say this, I’m sure eventually I’ll come around to thinking “who cares, they are what they are,” and probably sooner rather than later. Especially since, for the last few months, I’ve been reading all the PT “Making Of” books, and watching most of the BTS features, and that’s making it hard not to appreciate a lot of the work that went into the films (even as it shines a light on why some of the problems might have occurred). Honestly probably the easiest way for me to enjoy/appreciate them is just to take them as their own things, divorced from the weight of the rest of the saga (which I guess is ironic considering the thread where in).

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DominicCobb said:
For me this has been especially in light of the ST, which in my opinion puts the PT to shame in nearly every respect.

I don’t agree with this statement. I think there are several important elements, where the PT puts the ST to shame, aside from the aforementioned world building, namely imagination, visual storytelling, sound design, and music. I will focus on the first two here. This video nicely highlights Lucas’ strength in visual storytelling:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yz7xgfawz44

This article nicely highlights how Lucas uses imagery more than anything to tell his story:

https://clashingsabers.net/2017/06/11/worth-a-thousand-words-how-george-lucas-used-visual-composition-to-tell-the-story-of-revenge-of-the-sith/

I can add a few more:

I think both the OT and PT have provided unique and iconic setpieces, imagery and locations. In my view the ST has done this to a far lesser degree, often recycling, and updating OT imagery. So, in my view the PT, and ST are two sides of the same coin, where both trilogies have been able to capture important elements that made the OT the classics that they are, but neither has presented the full package in my view. So, while I certainly think the characters, dialogue, and acting make the ST more accessible, that doesn’t make them necessarily better for me, because once you get past the initial bitter taste of the PT, I think there are a ton of interesting and unique flavours to be discovered hidden under the surface, that just seem to be missing for the ST.

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Mocata said:

It’s nice that people enjoy these kinds of lists but it doesn’t make them feel the same or have the same kind of viewing experience. Beyond a few visual effects set pieces and John Williams moments. The entire Ring Theory idea is hilarious straw grasping from what I’ve read, while ironically showing that the films don’t hold up by themselves and need pages of fan theory gibberish to make them have anything compelling under the surface. The idea that any of the current movies are making the PT seem better in hindsight is also hilarious considering that they’ve managed to at least have memorable/likeable characters and discussions of the Force which aren’t outright embarrassing. There are a lot of odd people out there but those claiming the PT is genius for copying the OT while bemoaning the ST as a rehash or some of the oddest.

I think the ST actually makes the OT more complete and the PT farther removed.

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This is not a thread about the ST. I know I mentioned it but let’s keep on track.

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Mocata said:

Those visuals are awful though. I hate the way Vader’s eyes are like crazy holograms.

I don’t see what’s so awful about those visuals. I can point to many prequel shots, that look bad, or less than convincing. I can point to a number of OT shots that look bad, but awful is reserved for a special kind of bad. This is awful:

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I, for one, have never hated the PT. I think it is inferior and I hate the extended pod racing sequence and the droid factory sequence. But then I hate Greedo shooting as well which is the official edit of ANH. I original had some hate for Hayden at the end of ROTJ, but that has softened to just dislike. I wish they’d refilm that properly now that he is older. But they won’t.

When you really dive in you can find a lot of parallels between the PT and OT. They are deliberate. Lucas spoke several times about that. One of his reasons is that is how myths work. You have different generations experiencing similar situations. I think of the Arthur legends. The conflict of Uther’s day reignites when Mordred shows up. Things flow in cycles. It is the concept of the wheel of time found in the Indian subcontinent mythologies. And it is pretty obvious from some of the names that Lucas used that one of his influences was the subcontinent. And all you have to do is google Joseph Campbell’s monomyth to find charts that show a great circle of story points for the monomyth. In the PT we have the circle where Anakin fails to stand up to the evil and becomes its servant and in the OT we have the circle where Luke stands up to evil and is able to redeem his father. I think the conclusion of the ST is going to take that and have the next generation actually defeat the evil as Anakin should have done in the first place and end the cycle. I’ve never been certain just what Lucas had in mind for the ST, but the PT was clearly on his mind while moving on from ANH to TESB and ROTJ. But as he created the PT, some things continued to change to fit the story he wanted and some things in the OT don’t quite fit.

The one thing that a lot of people have issue with is Leia remembering her mother. I don’t. Leia is obviously force sensitive and picked up something from her mother in the womb. As many of us have confusing memories from when we were young (Luke making two throws with the grappling hook for instance), Leia may have confusing memories of a mother she never really saw with her own eyes. Lucas did a good job creating a character in ANH that fits with being Luke’s sister even if that wasn’t his original intention. But such surprising story revelation are common in myths. I’m curious if TROS will have some and if we can’t make another topic for that one after the film comes out (we can only intelligently discuss about half the ST because we don’t know how events in TROS might recolor what we have already seen as the revelation of Luke’s father and sister colored dialog and events in ANH and TESB).

One of the things I love about the PT is that Lucas was able to keep the public perception of Palpatine intact. Publicly it appears he is a pawn of all the special interest groups while in reality he is manipulating them to manipulate him into doing what he wants to do anyway. He plays the role of Palpatine while he really is Darth Sidious. We only get to see one scene of that as the rest of his term as Emperor we only encounter him in scenes where he doesn’t need to hide. Tarkin’s dialog about him is almost smug as he points out that regional governors (Tarkin himself) will wield the power the senate used to have. But the game is the same, with Palpatine diverting attention from him to others who can be blamed for wielding the power he has given them and who are doing his wishes. He is delightfully evil in all 6 films like a true villain of mythology.

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The broad ideas of what Palpatine was doing are fine but the execution doesn’t really work when we’re supposed to believe that an entire army of clones was hidden, then used by the Jedi, then they killed the Jedi, all without anyone getting anything more than a “sense” something is wrong. Instead of some kind of actual hunt being shown. The Clone War should have been EPI, the purge should have been EpII and then the dark times EpIII. The whole trilogy should really have been re-structured to resemble a historical epic. The set pieces are there (chariot races and gladiator arenas) but the “Fall of the Roman Empire” style plot is complete shambles. And the wheel of time is again an interesting idea with a series about fated bloodlines and destiny etc but the way it mirrors the OT is far too sloppy. I don’t hate the PT… it’s just so boring and bad that it’s not watchable.

As for plot inconsistencies… I mean why are Luke and Leia in the films? Why is Vader’s resurrection? In fact why are characters like Yoda and Palpatine here? It should have been made to preserve all the twists and character reveals for new audiences but the toy line came first I guess. The OT had some much world building by referencing events and characters off screen, but here it’s all reduced down so that everything happens on Coruscant and Tatooine.

Yub Nub for life

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DrDre said:

Mocata said:

Those visuals are awful though. I hate the way Vader’s eyes are like crazy holograms.

I don’t see what’s so awful about those visuals. I can point to many prequel shots, that look bad, or less than convincing. I can point to a number of OT shots that look bad, but awful is reserved for a special kind of bad. This is awful:

In fairness, I think that effect actually resides in a world beyond merely “awful.” That being said, while a lot of the PT CG doesn’t hold up, easily the worst of the saga comes from the special editions (the sarlacc and 97 Jabba are particularly rough).

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DominicCobb said:

DrDre said:

Mocata said:

Those visuals are awful though. I hate the way Vader’s eyes are like crazy holograms.

I don’t see what’s so awful about those visuals. I can point to many prequel shots, that look bad, or less than convincing. I can point to a number of OT shots that look bad, but awful is reserved for a special kind of bad. This is awful:

In fairness, I think that effect actually resides in a world beyond merely “awful.” That being said, while a lot of the PT CG doesn’t hold up, easily the worst of the saga comes from the special editions (the sarlacc and 97 Jabba are particularly rough).

Hahaha, I guess you’re right. It is in it’s own class. It’s so bad, it’s almost good, or at least entertaining in it’s own horrendous way. That’s one of the things I miss in these CGI ridden days. There was always a sense of wonder in the old days for how they managed to pull off certain effects. Even if it didn’t look quite convincing, there usually was something to admire about it. I never got that same sense with of wonder with CGI. The only exceptions I can think of are dinos in Jurassic Park, and Gollum in LOTR.

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Mocata said:

The broad ideas of what Palpatine was doing are fine but the execution doesn’t really work when we’re supposed to believe that an entire army of clones was hidden, then used by the Jedi, then they killed the Jedi, all without anyone getting anything more than a “sense” something is wrong. Instead of some kind of actual hunt being shown. The Clone War should have been EPI, the purge should have been EpII and then the dark times EpIII. The whole trilogy should really have been re-structured to resemble a historical epic. The set pieces are there (chariot races and gladiator arenas) but the “Fall of the Roman Empire” style plot is complete shambles. And the wheel of time is again an interesting idea with a series about fated bloodlines and destiny etc but the way it mirrors the OT is far too sloppy. I don’t hate the PT… it’s just so boring and bad that it’s not watchable.

I think you’re absolutely right that the structure was way off. In this way I think Lucas would’ve been better served by trying to more closely align the trilogy with the OT. As is, the PT feels pretty disjointed due to the ten year gap. The first film is supposed to be the set up film but we end up with AOTC doing most of the actual set up (and the important set up from TPM, the characters, not really following through because of the ten year disconnect).

As for plot inconsistencies… I mean why are Luke and Leia in the films? Why is Vader’s resurrection? In fact why are characters like Yoda and Palpatine here? It should have been made to preserve all the twists and character reveals for new audiences but the toy line came first I guess. The OT had some much world building by referencing events and characters off screen, but here it’s all reduced down so that everything happens on Coruscant and Tatooine.

I disagree that the twists necessarily needed to be preserved (I mean basically the whole point of the trilogy was to give backstory to the twists), but I do agree that it seems to be a little too married to making sure that every single little piece is in order to tie into the OT. There’s definitely a distinct de-mystification going on in a lot of ways (obviously there’s stuff like midichlorians, but also things like Palpatine’s transformation).

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DominicCobb said:

Mocata said:

The broad ideas of what Palpatine was doing are fine but the execution doesn’t really work when we’re supposed to believe that an entire army of clones was hidden, then used by the Jedi, then they killed the Jedi, all without anyone getting anything more than a “sense” something is wrong. Instead of some kind of actual hunt being shown. The Clone War should have been EPI, the purge should have been EpII and then the dark times EpIII. The whole trilogy should really have been re-structured to resemble a historical epic. The set pieces are there (chariot races and gladiator arenas) but the “Fall of the Roman Empire” style plot is complete shambles. And the wheel of time is again an interesting idea with a series about fated bloodlines and destiny etc but the way it mirrors the OT is far too sloppy. I don’t hate the PT… it’s just so boring and bad that it’s not watchable.

I think you’re absolutely right that the structure was way off. In this way I think Lucas would’ve been better served by trying to more closely align the trilogy with the OT. As is, the PT feels pretty disjointed due to the ten year gap. The first film is supposed to be the set up film but we end up with AOTC doing most of the actual set up (and the important set up from TPM, the characters, not really following through because of the ten year disconnect).

As for plot inconsistencies… I mean why are Luke and Leia in the films? Why is Vader’s resurrection? In fact why are characters like Yoda and Palpatine here? It should have been made to preserve all the twists and character reveals for new audiences but the toy line came first I guess. The OT had some much world building by referencing events and characters off screen, but here it’s all reduced down so that everything happens on Coruscant and Tatooine.

I disagree that the twists necessarily needed to be preserved (I mean basically the whole point of the trilogy was to give backstory to the twists), but I do agree that it seems to be a little too married to making sure that every single little piece is in order to tie into the OT. There’s definitely a distinct de-mystification going on in a lot of ways (obviously there’s stuff like midichlorians, but also things like Palpatine’s transformation).

I personally liked the idea of ol’ Palps being corrupted by the dark side more. I think that initially was what Lucas was going for in AOTC.

In ROTS Palpatine looks younger than in the previous installment. Additionally Palpatine allways looks off to me in ROTS, once he goes all out bad, and essentially became a cartoon villain. I thought he was brilliant up until the scene in which he revealed himself to Anakin. There was something sinister about the Emperor in ROTJ, that they never recaptured. He had this sort of arrogance, and self assurance, that made him instantly seem all powerful without lifting a finger.

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DrDre said:

DominicCobb said:

DrDre said:

Mocata said:

Those visuals are awful though. I hate the way Vader’s eyes are like crazy holograms.

I don’t see what’s so awful about those visuals. I can point to many prequel shots, that look bad, or less than convincing. I can point to a number of OT shots that look bad, but awful is reserved for a special kind of bad. This is awful:

In fairness, I think that effect actually resides in a world beyond merely “awful.” That being said, while a lot of the PT CG doesn’t hold up, easily the worst of the saga comes from the special editions (the sarlacc and 97 Jabba are particularly rough).

Hahaha, I guess you’re right. It is in it’s own class. It’s so bad, it’s almost good, or at least entertaining in it’s own horrendous way. That’s one of the things I miss in these CGI ridden days. There was always a sense of wonder in the old days for how they managed to pull off certain effects. Even if it didn’t look quite convincing, there usually was something to admire about it. I never got that same sense with of wonder with CGI. The only exceptions I can think of are dinos in Jurassic Park, and Gollum in LOTR.

Well yeah I guess the issue is, even if a shot is hard to pull off in CG, most don’t really know it because we all assume you can just do everything in a computer. So the shots or effects that really impress are the ones that are narratively compelling or emotionally resonant. Gollum is a great effect because he’s a fully fledged character (similarly, Serkis and others work on the recent Planet of the Apes films help make those effects amazing). Jar Jar was essentially the same effect, three years earlier, but no one cites it because the character didn’t connect in the same way.

DrDre said:

DominicCobb said:

Mocata said:

The broad ideas of what Palpatine was doing are fine but the execution doesn’t really work when we’re supposed to believe that an entire army of clones was hidden, then used by the Jedi, then they killed the Jedi, all without anyone getting anything more than a “sense” something is wrong. Instead of some kind of actual hunt being shown. The Clone War should have been EPI, the purge should have been EpII and then the dark times EpIII. The whole trilogy should really have been re-structured to resemble a historical epic. The set pieces are there (chariot races and gladiator arenas) but the “Fall of the Roman Empire” style plot is complete shambles. And the wheel of time is again an interesting idea with a series about fated bloodlines and destiny etc but the way it mirrors the OT is far too sloppy. I don’t hate the PT… it’s just so boring and bad that it’s not watchable.

I think you’re absolutely right that the structure was way off. In this way I think Lucas would’ve been better served by trying to more closely align the trilogy with the OT. As is, the PT feels pretty disjointed due to the ten year gap. The first film is supposed to be the set up film but we end up with AOTC doing most of the actual set up (and the important set up from TPM, the characters, not really following through because of the ten year disconnect).

As for plot inconsistencies… I mean why are Luke and Leia in the films? Why is Vader’s resurrection? In fact why are characters like Yoda and Palpatine here? It should have been made to preserve all the twists and character reveals for new audiences but the toy line came first I guess. The OT had some much world building by referencing events and characters off screen, but here it’s all reduced down so that everything happens on Coruscant and Tatooine.

I disagree that the twists necessarily needed to be preserved (I mean basically the whole point of the trilogy was to give backstory to the twists), but I do agree that it seems to be a little too married to making sure that every single little piece is in order to tie into the OT. There’s definitely a distinct de-mystification going on in a lot of ways (obviously there’s stuff like midichlorians, but also things like Palpatine’s transformation).

I personally liked the idea of ol’ Palps being corrupted by the dark side more. I think that initially was what Lucas was going for in AOTC.

Yeah, I would have loved it if we could’ve just assumed he became super wrinkly over a couple decades due to extreme dark side usage.

In ROTS Palpatine looks younger than in the previous installment. Additionally Palpatine allways looks off to me in ROTS, once he goes all out bad, and essentially became a cartoon villain. I thought he was brilliant up until the scene in which he revealed himself to Anakin.

Totally agree. I always want to say that McDiarmid gives the best performance of the PT, but then I remember the hammy moments once Sidious is ‘revealed.’ Not to mention that terrible make-up. Shame.

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I don’t really see the issue with the acting. The character is reveling in the power he wields and in not having to hide it any longer. I just chalk the makeup to a different team and that his face is freshly swollen. They had him film the TESB hologram at the same time and I don’t think it worked for that. But I like the performance Ian delivered from ROTJ thorugh ROTS.

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 (Edited)

https://youtu.be/gUKvHwjcfIQ

This video explores so much of why I love the parallels between the PT and OT. Honestly it’s one of the aspects I enjoy about Star Wars the most. I don’t think these things are accidental. I truly do think it’s intentional. The parallels are in there I feel to show how history repeats itself and it’s about overcoming the sins of what came before us. I personally think also the PT did a great job at showing how society evolves and changes. That’s exactly what we got. We saw the corruption in the Senate in TPM, division and war begin in AOTC, and the rise in ROTS. It builds to the darkness and doesn’t happen all at once.

George said as much:

" If the first trilogy is social and political and talks about how society evolves, Star Wars is more about personal growth and self realization, and the third deals with moral and philosophical problems. The sequel is about Jedi Knighthood, justice, confrontation, and passing on what you have learned."

My only major criticism for the ST is how the story sometimes feels so tied to the OT and doesn’t fully acknowledge what occurred in the PT. I truly believe that if we had answers to why Sifo-Dyas ordered the Clone Army and Anakin’s origins it would go a long way towards bridging the gap between the trilogies of trilogies and interconnect them as a nine part saga. One unpopular opinion I have is I also wouldn’t have been opposed to George’s microworld he spoke to James Cameron about. I feel it would’ve at least brought clarity and understanding. There’s a quote from Steven Spielberg from the 90’s where he said part of George’s concept for the PT involved the ST. I think the PT was very much an introduction that was going to be told in his ST story but instead it appears as of TFA and TLJ we are getting familiar in terms of look, feel, and certain storybeats. I love everything to do with Rey and Kylo, Luke, and nearly every character but I wish the other subplots could’ve been developed more into something that doesn’t so closely resemble that of the OT. I would rather see the full Jedi Knighthood theme and rebuilding of the New Republic. This isn’t to say I don’t enjoy the subplots but the one thing the PT has going for it that the ST doesn’t is it tells a story that is new and fresh within the parallels. It doesn’t feel entirely like the same exact cycle again but an extension and expanding of. We shall see though as maybe TROS will bring clarity in the form of Palpatine and show some of these themes.

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Regarding Palpatine looking ‘older’ in AOTC, but then looking a little younger in ROTS, even though it is just because Lucas changed his mind I do have a head-canon explanation for it.

As some theories and fan edits have gone with, I like to think that Sidious’ deformed look is his true face, and ‘Palpatine’ is just a mask he wears, an illusion that takes great concentration with the dark side.

Once Palpatine became Chancellor, I believe the dark side began corrupting him more quickly. But the Sith can feed off of the fear, anger and suffering in the galaxy, giving them more power. Hiding his identity in plain sight from the Jedi while he sat in the highest seat in the Republic took immense focus, and this was even more difficult to do in an era of relative peace. But, when Separatist seceded from the Republic and the Clone Wars broke out, Sidious was able to feed off the suffering in the galaxy it created. This is why Palpatine seems almost healthier in ROTS, after three years of galactic warfare, compared to how he looked in AOTC, before the war began.

I don’t know how long Sidious’ true face was his ‘deformed’ face, but regardless of that, he disposed of his Palpatine mask to manipulate Anakin and the Senate to think he was scarred by the Jedi, and after the Jedi purge he no longer needed to expend the energy to keep up that charade.

This ‘feeding off fear’ idea sort of lends itself to how the Empire operated as well. Even though certain elements of the Empire seemed impractical or inefficient, I think the Emperor saw the Empire as a factory of fear. A machine that created suffering in the galaxy that Sidious could feed on in order to grow in power.

It’s definitely a hand-wavy excuse, and I think I would’ve preferred if he had just became more deformed over the films, but this explanation works for me too.