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Similarities between the Original Trilogy and the Sequel Trilogy

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This particular topic could be debated in any of the films threads, but since it covers the ST as a whole, I figured we should make a new thread instead of using older ones or going out of subject in other threads, such as in DrDre’s “TROS Box Office Predictions” thread.

To start things off, I spot many similarities in what’s been done so far, and it’s one of the big turn offs from this Sequel Trilogy (the biggest one is I don’t fully believe Rey’s character and her abilities, but that’s for another thread).

Anyway, as early as opening night of TFA the complaints that it was nothing more than a rehash started. I remember even Harmy, despite having a mostly positive review of the film, stating its plot was very, very similar to Star Wars’. And that’s the one thing I think is objectively true - the plots for both movies are very similar. And when they’re not, the rest, for some reason, is. I’ll get to that. The story of the movies differs quite a bit though, especially given the similarities in the plot.

I think that what gives me (and most) the rehash feeling is that, while in theory the status quo in the galaxy at the beginning of TFA is very different from what was going on at the beginning of SW, when it comes to what happens in the movie, it’s really not that different. In SW we have a big bad Empire, with limitless resources, etc. and a small group of rebels, struggling to fight the huge evil Empire. In TFA, in theory, we have a scattered First Order and a strong, unwilling to act Republic, with a small group of “radicals”, the Resistance. But when it gets down to the film, the FO has limitless resources and unlimited power, the Republic is meaningless and blown to bits without having anything to do, and the Resistance becomes a small band of rebels. So… we do get to the very same point we were in the beginning of SW. That’s not to mention that if not for EU content I never would’ve known of the Republic’s part in all of this and I’d assume, like I did when I first saw the film, that the Resistance was the Rebels and the FO the Empire, and… it made no sense.

TFA is not the only film guilty of resetting the status quo, though. TLJ’s scope is very small, sure, but what happens in the movie is essentially the same thing. In the movie’s environment there’s a limitless-resources group of Imperials pursuing a small band of scattered Rebels, and that’s it. Rey even mentions how “the First Order will take control of all of the major star systems within weeks!” to Luke! So they do end up seeming undefeatable.

Now, if we go deeper than just the setting of the films, there’s the actual plot. TFA’s and SW’s plots are very similar. TFA even manages to have trench runs and a Death Star attack despite the McGuffin question not being about the Starkiller Base at all…

The ending of TFA is, from what I’ve seen, widely regarded as the weakest part of the film because of that, and it’s definitely the most insulting of the similarities. An interesting question is if it would’ve been more original to simply have the ending fully centered around getting to Luke, like SW is about the Death Star, or not, since the way they went basically replayed beat by best something we’d previously seen before. And that’s not to mention how similar the characters are. Sure, they’re following conventional genre tropes, but when the rest of the things are as similar as they are… There’s a lot more to cover, but I’d like to address a bit of TLJ in this first post as well.

With TLJ, things are a bit different. If you think in terms of a mdoern retelling of the OT, as DrDre put it a while ago, TFA left us in the beginning of TESB, with the Empire’s attack about to happen, which is the first thing that happens in TLJ. TLJ takes a lot more freedoms that TFA didn’t, and does create some amazing sequences and masterful moments. But in the end, we arrive at Throne Room 2.0, and this one really is nothing more than a version 2 of a previous sequence. The outcome is different, but it’s still the main character trying to turn the bad guy back to the good side, with a bad guy sitting on a throne. There’s actual repeated dialogue IIRC, and the scene flows so similarly to ROTJ’s scene that this scene was, out of the entirety of both TFA and TLJ, the one scene that made me feel like I was watching a remake, or a reboot of some sort.

Anyway, act 3 of TLJ ends and, well, with it the mini 1.5movie long OT inside the ST. So act 4 of TLJ was interesting because it brought something new to the table, and I honestly can’t wait for TROS and see what’s to come.

I think that the whole “similarity” aspect of the ST hurt the movies quite a bit, in many ways. For example, TLJ feels slow and rushed at the same time, with stuff like Rey literally mailing herself to Kylo and the whole thing being done in half a dozen 5 seconds long shots, while the pace of the film is uneven and… agh, this is another issue again.

Well folks, debate away.

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Yeah, I definitely think Starkiller Base is the weakest aspect of TFA. I think most people who don’t like TFA for its similarities with A New Hope would have forgiven it if it weren’t for Starkiller. Blowing up the peaceful world, trying to blow up the Rebel Base, trench run, blows up in the nick of time.

I do agree that I think the focus should have stayed on the map to Skywalker, which is pushed aside in the third act and then JJ remembered it “Oh yeah, R2 did have the other half the whole time!”

I think I would’ve liked it if TFA had been a quest to find the map all the way through, almost like an Indiana Jones movie. But, I think it boils down to why the creatives made that decision. They clearly worried about being too different from the OT after fans and critics trashed the prequels.

Despite that, I definitely think you can rationalize why it exists in-universe. Why the First Order felt like they needed to build another super weapon. The First Order wants to emulate the Empire and finish what it started the same way Kylo Ren wants to do the same with Vader.

I also think it is the same reason small dictatorships like North Korea are desperate for a nuclear arsenal. Imagine if the UN has agreed to dispose of all nuclear weapons, and then North Korea had built an arsenal in secret, and used it on a major world capital. Their remaining arsenal could be used as a threat to make any country bow to their commands, like the world was being held at gunpoint.

But this is a reason why I think fan edits can be a great form of constructive criticism. The TFA: Restructured edit helps show how the Starkiller’s similarities to the Death Star can be used to surprise the audience, by pushing the destruction of the Republic to the climax and having the Resistance fail. So using the audience’s memory of ANH and to surprise them. Because the Resistance blowing up Starkiller before it destroys their target is totally expected. I think Nev is pushing this idea even further with his Starlight Project. As soon as we see the trench we KNOW what is going to happen, but what if Poe destroyed the inside of the oscillator, but it didn’t blow up?

It would build onto this idea that the Resistance thinks it can be just like the Rebellion, fighting for a just cause, but things don’t turn out like they thought it would.

I feel TLJ parallels the throne room scene with similar intentions. I know we’re hungry for new stuff, but I think these work within the context that the ST is the third part of a bigger story, not a brand new one. I think it is helpful to ask questions like, “Is this scene similar for the sake of similarity, or is it trying to make a point? What does it mean for the characters and their perspectives or expectations? How does it relate to the themes of the story?” I do think some things in the ST fall into the former, simple nostalgia. But I think it is unfair to say all the parallels were made simply for nostalgia’s sake.

I do think Starkiller, specifically the trench run sequence, is one of the weakest elements, but luckily Restructured is so hardwired in my brain I sometimes forget how it played out theatrically!

But I will say if the post-IX films just copy the OT, then hand me a pitchfork!

Something else I’ve also suggested is that instead of sneaking onto Starkiller to deactivate the shields, Han and Finn’s mission could have been to steal the other half of the map to Luke, since Kylo Ren mentions that they have the other piece. That would help keep the focus on the map and letting the battle be more of a backdrop.

I do agree that it was too similar for my tastes, but it definitely doesn’t ruin the movie for me, and I can rationalize why they went with it, for in-universe or thematic reasons. I’m like, “Yeah, that could’ve been handled better.” But it doesn’t hurt the experience for me.

I’m not trying to tell anyone they’re wrong for thinking otherwise. I totally get why you feel that way. Totally do. I might have issues with the films, but I still want to enjoy all of them, so I’m just sharing how I see them in a way that allows me to enjoy them. Feel free to share if you disagree with me, I know I’m not really good at easing anyone’s gripes with the movies!

Maybe I could try to write a book or blog for fans that have become disillusioned by the new films that want to find new perspectives to help them enjoy the ST more. I think I’d call it, Dr. Dre, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Starkiller

With your permission, Dre. And obviously you’ll get royalties, Dre! 😂

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RogueLeader said:

Yeah, I definitely think Starkiller Base is the weakest aspect of TFA. I think most people who don’t like TFA for its similarities with A New Hope would have forgiven it if it weren’t for Starkiller. Blowing up the peaceful world, trying to blow up the Rebel Base, trench run, blows up in the nick of time.

I do agree that I think the focus should have stayed on the map to Skywalker, which is pushed aside in the third act and then JJ remembered it “Oh yeah, R2 did have the other half the whole time!”

I think I would’ve liked it if TFA had been a quest to find the map all the way through, almost like an Indiana Jones movie. But, I think it boils down to why the creatives made that decision. They clearly worried about being too different from the OT after fans and critics trashed the prequels.

Despite that, I definitely think you can rationalize why it exists in-universe. Why the First Order felt like they needed to build another super weapon. The First Order wants to emulate the Empire and finish what it started the same way Kylo Ren wants to do the same with Vader.

I also think it is the same reason small dictatorships like North Korea are desperate for a nuclear arsenal. Imagine if the UN has agreed to dispose of all nuclear weapons, and then North Korea had built an arsenal in secret, and used it on a major world capital. Their remaining arsenal could be used as a threat to make any country bow to their commands, like the world was being held at gunpoint.

But this is a reason why I think fan edits can be a great form of constructive criticism. The TFA: Restructured edit helps show how the Starkiller’s similarities to the Death Star can be used to surprise the audience, by pushing the destruction of the Republic to the climax and having the Resistance fail. So using the audience’s memory of ANH and to surprise them. Because the Resistance blowing up Starkiller before it destroys their target is totally expected. I think Nev is pushing this idea even further with his Starlight Project. As soon as we see the trench we KNOW what is going to happen, but what if Poe destroyed the inside of the oscillator, but it didn’t blow up?

It would build onto this idea that the Resistance thinks it can be just like the Rebellion, fighting for a just cause, but things don’t turn out like they thought it would.

I feel TLJ parallels the throne room scene with similar intentions. I know we’re hungry for new stuff, but I think these work within the context that the ST is the third part of a bigger story, not a brand new one. I think it is helpful to ask questions like, “Is this scene similar for the sake of similarity, or is it trying to make a point? What does it mean for the characters and their perspectives or expectations? How does it relate to the themes of the story?” I do think some things in the ST fall into the former, simple nostalgia. But I think it is unfair to say all the parallels were made simply for nostalgia’s sake.

I do think Starkiller, specifically the trench run sequence, is one of the weakest elements, but luckily Restructured is so hardwired in my brain I sometimes forget how it played out theatrically!

But I will say if the post-IX films just copy the OT, then hand me a pitchfork!

Something else I’ve also suggested is that instead of sneaking onto Starkiller to deactivate the shields, Han and Finn’s mission could have been to steal the other half of the map to Luke, since Kylo Ren mentions that they have the other piece. That would help keep the focus on the map and letting the battle be more of a backdrop.

I do agree that it was too similar for my tastes, but it definitely doesn’t ruin the movie for me, and I can rationalize why they went with it, for in-universe or thematic reasons. I’m like, “Yeah, that could’ve been handled better.” But it doesn’t hurt the experience for me.

I’m not trying to tell anyone they’re wrong for thinking otherwise. I totally get why you feel that way. Totally do. I might have issues with the films, but I still want to enjoy all of them, so I’m just sharing how I see them in a way that allows me to enjoy them. Feel free to share if you disagree with me, I know I’m not really good at easing anyone’s gripes with the movies!

Maybe I could try to write a book or blog for fans that have become disillusioned by the new films that want to find new perspectives to help them enjoy the ST more. I think I’d call it, Dr. Dre, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Starkiller

With your permission, Dre. And obviously you’ll get royalties, Dre! 😂

Hahaha! 😂

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Well, I think it’s important to consider what the creators’ intentions were, because that shines a light on why many elements of the ST are so similar to the OT.

So, why is TFA so similar to ANH? Because Abrams and co wanted to pay hommage to the film, that started it all, and after the controversial PT wanted to get back to the look and feel of the OT. TFA was a soft reboot in the sense, that it had to introduce a new group of characters in a very similar setting as the OT, namely a small band of rebels fighting an overwhelming force led by a fallen Jedi student.

Why is TLJ so similar to the OT? Because RJ wanted to highlight the OT tropes, and subvert our expectations, and so he too delibirately wrote a story, that for large portions of it recycles the plot, scenes, and visuals of the OT, such that at several pivotal moments, he can pull the rug out from under us.

So, in my view the similarities are very delibirate with one movie wanting to feed our nostalgia, and the other surprise us. The downside of all this is, that once the nostalgia, and novelty of the surprises wear off, what we’re left with is two movies, that in plot, structure, visuals, and settings are very similar, and I would say too similar, to the OT.

Both films in the ST thusfar have been driven heavily by fan expectations, and so rather than feel like a natural continuation, and progression of the story and characters, to me it feels more like a metacommentary on the tropes and archetypes of the Star Wars universe.

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I guess to me it feels like both a continuation of the story as well as a metacommentary on Star Wars itself. But I also saw story parallels and metacommentary in the prequels, so maybe that’s why it doesn’t bother me as much. I totally get what you’re saying though.

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There’s a lot of awkward repetition, some of it is well meaning and other elements that feel way too clumsy. I mentioned in the other thread that the PT never feels like Star Wars, and while many inclusions are on the right track I’m not sure it ever get it entirely right here. They must have spent a lot of time on the whole “what is SW to the audience” but just settled on vaguely following the heroes journey, a few iconic bits, a few new things that feel out of place. My major issue is that while finding the ST to be pretty entertaining it’s always just shy of hitting the right mark, like just one more draft, just one more take, just one more adjustment.

The PT always felt like a vague idea of what could work slapped together over a Summer at the ranch, instead of a “kill your darlings” kind of effort where extraneous junk was culled and a proper storyline was given life. Here it’s more that the broad strokes are being painting but the edges are fuzzy, the delineation hasn’t been given enough time. They’ve put effort into fixing the “big picture” or the “idea of Star Wars”. But I’d prefer to see stuff involving the Imperial Remnant or a wilder Outer Rim story away from all the doomsday machines.

The whole thing does feel very meta though. Kylo and Rey are fighting over the toys. Give me back my lightsaber etc. Now in TROS they’re battling over ownership of a DSII collectable. But I guess the problem was always how to expand this stuff further without so many farcical gags or lore breaking moments. There are only so many X-Wing battles and monster escape scenes that you can do before the space wizard bag of tricks is empty.

Yub Nub for life

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Lol, I feel like the making of the prequels could be nicknamed “Summer at the Ranch”. Maybe the making of the ST could be “REAL sets, PRACTICAL effects”, or maybe “Everything’s Changed but Nothing’s Changed”.

I do agree that it would’ve been cool to have seen a grungier neo-Empire, or Imperial Remnant.

But to be fair, I do think we will be seeing more Outer Rim adventures, and even Imperial Remnant stuff, in stories outside the Saga. The Mandalorian being the best example.

I think it easy to not realize that there’s 30 years worth of stories in between ROTJ and TFA. I totally get how seeing the Empire lose in ROTJ but then the First Order fully-equipped and upgraded raises questions.

I think it would be great if a lot of stories during this 30-year time period showed these grungier Remnants and the New Republic able to combat them with small, but efficient fleets and squadrons. Basically, seeing a lot of stuff that fans expected to see after ROTJ. It would help explain why the New Republic didn’t see the First Order as a threat, assuming it was just another fringe group that has basically devolved into a gang. You can get a hint of this when Poe is in the First Order hangar for the first time, he looks totally stunned.

I think that is partly why a lot of people are frustrated with the new films. They want to see that kind of stuff, but the ST isn’t doing that. Once we get more stories like that, and see the Imperial Remnant and the New Republic at a different time period, we’ll get that itch scratched, plus we’ll see the actual evolution of how the Empire went from the Galactic Empire, to scattered Imperial remnants, to a reunified First Order.

It makes me think of the relationship between the prequels and the Clone Wars. The Clone Wars added a lot of context to that era that made people enjoy the movies more. I think the same thing will inevitably happen with the ST. We’ll get a new series or two that bridges that gap between ROTJ and TFA that provides context that a lot of fans were curious about.

Sometimes I compare it to WWI and WWII. Imagine we were telling the story of those wars, and in the first book is set in the 1910s, and we see America, Britain and others defeat Germany by the end of the War to End All Wars. The second book jumps all the way forward to the 1940s, right at the beginning of WWII. Wait, didn’t they defeat Germany at the end of the first book? How are they at war again and have somehow rebuilt their army? How did the Allies let this happen?
You can see how that might be confusing when you skip ahead 20-30 years. I do agree that they could have provided more context in the films, but the existence of the similarities doesn’t break it for me. I think that really is the weakness, because I think with the right context your audience would say, “Yeah, that makes sense.”

Again, not trying to say that this is the ONLY way they could have told this story. For me it boils down to that this is the story we got, and although I do enjoy most of it, I try to understand/rationalize parts that I don’t like as much. It’s the same thing I did with the prequels.

As far as metacommentary, I think of things like how the writers wondered how they could top a villain like Darth Vader, so they made a villain that is actually afraid that he can’t live up to Darth Vader.
Maybe as time goes on I’ll post about similarities between the OT and ST that I think strengthens the saga as a whole.

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Maybe it comes down to what you’re looking for from the series. In my mind, the world was a backdrop, and the plot was a vehicle. My favorites were the OT, where it was a pretty straightforward conflict. We never saw the Imperial senate, we were never even sure who was leading the Rebellion. What I always loved the most was the characters and their stories, and so, as a kid, when I used to wonder what happened after ROTJ, it was always in regards to what were my favorite characters up to? With the ST, the set dressing is similar but ultimately the kid in me is satisfied because the part that always mattered more to me was new. My take at least.

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You can see how that might be confusing when you skip ahead 20-30 years. I do agree that they could have provided more context in the films, but the existence of the similarities doesn’t break it for me. I think that really is the weakness, because I think with the right context your audience would say, “Yeah, that makes sense.”

Well amongst all the similarities they wanted is to have that idea of being flung into the action, which in some ways works. I really like the opening with Kylo meeting Max von Sydow. But while the OT dripped little pieces of info so it never feels too alien, TFA needed something like that Death Star conference scene to quickly sum up current affairs. Or even just a quick sound bite here and there to say the Republic is soft and doesn’t want to openly support Leia’s para-military actions.

Yub Nub for life

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Mocata said:

You can see how that might be confusing when you skip ahead 20-30 years. I do agree that they could have provided more context in the films, but the existence of the similarities doesn’t break it for me. I think that really is the weakness, because I think with the right context your audience would say, “Yeah, that makes sense.”

Well amongst all the similarities they wanted is to have that idea of being flung into the action, which in some ways works. I really like the opening with Kylo meeting Max von Sydow. But while the OT dripped little pieces of info so it never feels too alien, TFA needed something like that Death Star conference scene to quickly sum up current affairs. Or even just a quick sound bite here and there to say the Republic is soft and doesn’t want to openly support Leia’s para-military actions.

I completely agree. I think I might have even said as much in my first post ever on the film, but they really could have accomplished a lot with a single Death Star conference room kind of scene (further similarity be damned). I’ve had this picture for years now of that giant room with the Snoke hologram filled up with FO officers (the chairs are already there!), having a SPECTRE style meeting straight out of Sean Connery Bond film, each giving updates about the nefarious things they’ve been doing throughout the galaxy. Alas, I don’t know if the filmmakers didn’t consider an expository scene like this, if it got cut (there was of course a bit more background info in the Leia subplot), or if they just wanted to avoid exposition like that entirely because of the PT.

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That’s a good idea. The giant hologram room is SURROUNDED by conference chairs and tables, so they already had a set for that kind of scene.

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I think TFA and TLJ handle the similarities very different. TFA does it because they had to play it safe. So many people complained that the PT “wasn’t Star Wars” so they made sure to make the movie as much like the OT as possible. It makes sense, and given the response, I think Disney learned they don’t have to play it so safe in the future.

But by that point, the ST was pretty much already on track with an evil Imperial remnant, which somehow managed to build a weapon stronger than the Death Star. So they can’t be “grungy” anymore. RJ instead opted for a great theme - the importance of failure - which builds upon the very concept. TLJ seems well aware we’ve done this all before. It is the main reason Luke has given up. While I have issues with the story, I think TLJ has a spectacular theme and uses it’s similarities with the OT to great effect.

Maul- A Star Wars Story

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Thinking a lot about the similarities amongst the three trilogies, and why some are okay with some and not others. My working theory at this point is that this is mainly because the PT similarities are mostly inconsequential. The similarities in both the PT and the ST are intentional, but I think perhaps more often than not the echoes in the PT aren’t as purposeful (beyond the basic “echoing”).

For instance, there’s a bar scene in each trilogy, but while Obi-wan cuts off someone’s arm in the PT and the OT, this is a rather arbitrary similarity, and in terms of plot it basically has nothing in common with the Mos Eisley Cantina scene (whereas Man’s Castle fits a similar role, despite key differences), so no wonder people aren’t bothered by it.

I think the most illustrative point of comparison is the ground battle in the middle chapter. TESB has the fight on Hoth in the opening third, and both AOTC and TLJ flip it and have it in the final third. But in AOTC, the ground battle is essentially background noise, almost entirely inconsequential to what’s going on (trying to capture Dooku). But in TLJ, the plot motivation behind the battle is very similar - the good guys are facing off to buy some time for those in the base. So the similarity is a lot more keenly felt, which is why I believe some take issue with it. But for me, this just shows the reasoning for the ST’s mirroring all the more clearly. This scene in the PT is an absolute mess, it’s nearly impossible to tell what’s going on and who’s doing what and why. When the walkers drop in and you’re reminded of Hoth, it only shines a light on how much more clearly the stakes and aims of that battle are defined. In TLJ, the comparison to TESB only furthers to reinforce the stakes of the scene at hand - it’s like Hoth, but the way things are different show how much worse matters are (the skimmers are falling apart, the plan is shoestring, and the rebels inside have no way of escaping, they’re literally sitting ducks waiting for help).

Similarly, both AOTC and TLJ mirror the Falcon on the run plot from TESB. AOTC does this in two ways: there’s the asteroid field chase, but the circumstances are completely different, and then of course there’s the subplot where two of their heroes are off in hiding (from bounty hunters amongst other things). But that “hiding” element is really just a catalyst, they’re under seemingly zero danger until they put themselves in it (essentially swapping the rhyme with Luke’s story), so the similarity is vague. Whereas in TLJ, they make the similarity a bit more obvious by having the chase through space be part of the on-the-run plot (as it is in TESB). But like the battle on Crait, invoking the TESB plot is done with purpose, to show how much worse things are for the Resistance. In TESB, it’s just the Falcon that doesn’t have hyperdrive; in TLJ, everyone has hyperdrive, but it doesn’t matter because the First Order can track them, so the entirety of the fleet is on the run.

Of course the “inconsequential” similarities can be a bit too much also. In both TPM and TFA, the aerial battle to take down the spherical battle station plays second fiddle to the more engaging lightsaber duel. And while the goals of the battles are the same - take out the threat (battle droids, super laser) - TFA takes the similarity a step too far by having it be essentially another Death Star. Now, I don’t think my theory here is quite exact, because ROTJ does that too, but I think it must be because there aren’t as many other similarities in ROTJ that it doesn’t bother people as much. Or maybe it did at one point but it’s been so long now no one cares. I don’t know, just thinking out loud.

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DominicCobb said:

Thinking a lot about the similarities amongst the three trilogies, and why some are okay with some and not others. My working theory at this point is that this is mainly because the PT similarities are mostly inconsequential. The similarities in both the PT and the ST are intentional, but I think perhaps more often than not the echoes in the PT aren’t as purposeful (beyond the basic “echoing”).

For instance, there’s a bar scene in each trilogy, but while Obi-wan cuts off someone’s arm in the PT and the OT, this is a rather arbitrary similarity, and in terms of plot it basically has nothing in common with the Mos Eisley Cantina scene (whereas Man’s Castle fits a similar role, despite key differences), so no wonder people aren’t bothered by it.

I think the most illustrative point of comparison is the ground battle in the middle chapter. TESB has the fight on Hoth in the opening third, and both AOTC and TLJ flip it and have it in the final third. But in AOTC, the ground battle is essentially background noise, almost entirely inconsequential to what’s going on (trying to capture Dooku). But in TLJ, the plot motivation behind the battle is very similar - the good guys are facing off to buy some time for those in the base. So the similarity is a lot more keenly felt, which is why I believe some take issue with it. But for me, this just shows the reasoning for the ST’s mirroring all the more clearly. This scene in the PT is an absolute mess, it’s nearly impossible to tell what’s going on and who’s doing what and why. When the walkers drop in and you’re reminded of Hoth, it only shines a light on how much more clearly the stakes and aims of that battle are defined. In TLJ, the comparison to TESB only furthers to reinforce the stakes of the scene at hand - it’s like Hoth, but the way things are different show how much worse matters are (the skimmers are falling apart, the plan is shoestring, and the rebels inside have no way of escaping, they’re literally sitting ducks waiting for help).

Similarly, both AOTC and TLJ mirror the Falcon on the run plot from TESB. AOTC does this in two ways: there’s the asteroid field chase, but the circumstances are completely different, and then of course there’s the subplot where two of their heroes are off in hiding (from bounty hunters amongst other things). But that “hiding” element is really just a catalyst, they’re under seemingly zero danger until they put themselves in it (essentially swapping the rhyme with Luke’s story), so the similarity is vague. Whereas in TLJ, they make the similarity a bit more obvious by having the chase through space be part of the on-the-run plot (as it is in TESB). But like the battle on Crait, invoking the TESB plot is done with purpose, to show how much worse things are for the Resistance. In TESB, it’s just the Falcon that doesn’t have hyperdrive; in TLJ, everyone has hyperdrive, but it doesn’t matter because the First Order can track them, so the entirety of the fleet is on the run.

Of course the “inconsequential” similarities can be a bit too much also. In both TPM and TFA, the aerial battle to take down the spherical battle station plays second fiddle to the more engaging lightsaber duel. And while the goals of the battles are the same - take out the threat (battle droids, super laser) - TFA takes the similarity a step too far by having it be essentially another Death Star. Now, I don’t think my theory here is quite exact, because ROTJ does that too, but I think it must be because there aren’t as many other similarities in ROTJ that it doesn’t bother people as much. Or maybe it did at one point but it’s been so long now no one cares. I don’t know, just thinking out loud.

I think you’re on to something. Good post!

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DominicCobb said:

Of course the “inconsequential” similarities can be a bit too much also. In both TPM and TFA, the aerial battle to take down the spherical battle station plays second fiddle to the more engaging lightsaber duel. And while the goals of the battles are the same - take out the threat (battle droids, super laser) - TFA takes the similarity a step too far by having it be essentially another Death Star. Now, I don’t think my theory here is quite exact, because ROTJ does that too, but I think it must be because there aren’t as many other similarities in ROTJ that it doesn’t bother people as much. Or maybe it did at one point but it’s been so long now no one cares. I don’t know, just thinking out loud.

I think ROTJ has earned something of a free pass over time. As far as I can tell it used to get flack for a lot of the same reasons as the prequels, with repetition being one of those. Personally I’d just add that there was something rather awesome about seeing the Death Star battle and aesthetic being revisited with improved SPFX back in '83. But to then repeat it again 30 years later - especially now that incredible SPFX has become somewhat trivial as a concept - might be a step too far for many.

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Shopping Maul said:

DominicCobb said:

Of course the “inconsequential” similarities can be a bit too much also. In both TPM and TFA, the aerial battle to take down the spherical battle station plays second fiddle to the more engaging lightsaber duel. And while the goals of the battles are the same - take out the threat (battle droids, super laser) - TFA takes the similarity a step too far by having it be essentially another Death Star. Now, I don’t think my theory here is quite exact, because ROTJ does that too, but I think it must be because there aren’t as many other similarities in ROTJ that it doesn’t bother people as much. Or maybe it did at one point but it’s been so long now no one cares. I don’t know, just thinking out loud.

I think ROTJ has earned something of a free pass over time. As far as I can tell it used to get flack for a lot of the same reasons as the prequels, with repetition being one of those. Personally I’d just add that there was something rather awesome about seeing the Death Star battle and aesthetic being revisited with improved SPFX back in '83. But to then repeat it again 30 years later - especially now that incredible SPFX has become somewhat trivial as a concept - might be a step too far for many.

That sounds about right.