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Star Wars Ring Theory — Page 2

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It's no secret that Lucas wanted his two trilogies to "rhyme." But there's not a whole lot of, um, rhyme or reason to the repetition. This guy's trying to come up with an explanation for it. But I think he's reading too much into it. Some, probably even most, of the parallels he draws are obviously intentional, but I don't think there was an overall design to them.

I highly doubt Lucas structured his saga as a ring trilogy, and, even if he did, it doesn't really make me appreciate the prequels that much more. The biggest issues with them still remain.

Thing is, a lot of people make fun of the "it's like poetry" quote, but I agree with Lucas, there is an interesting storytelling technique in repetition. I can't quite explain it, but I do believe having the trilogies rhyme was a fantastic idea. To show Anakin and Luke in similar situations and how they deal with them differently is an compelling way to connect their stories and reveal things about their characters. 

Of course all of that means nothing when the movies aren't all that good.

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RicOlie_2 said:

Even so, if the foundations are utter crap, then its their inventor's fault for people not liking them. Cheese-flavoured ice cream would not be popular. Ear wax-flavoured ice cream would be even less so.

Films are an art and therefore film maker should be first and foremost an artist. A true artist follows his/her vision with disregard to popularity and people's tastes. A film maker who makes stuff in a way so that people will like it is not an artist but a salesman or an attention whore.

So now let me repeat it... you can't blame film maker for being an artist. If you don't like his/her art blame your taste and move on to the things you like.

真実

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imperialscum said:

Films are an art and therefore film maker should be first and foremost an artist. A true artist follows his/her vision with disregard to popularity and people's tastes. A film maker who makes stuff in a way so that people will like it is not an artist but a salesman or an attention whore.

So, seeing as Lucas cut down on Jar Jar's screentime with each prequel as a result of negative public opinion on the character, does that make him an artist or a salesman?

TRANSMODERNISM > POSTMODERNISM > MODERNISM > PREMODERNISM

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DuracellEnergizer said:

imperialscum said:

Films are an art and therefore film maker should be first and foremost an artist. A true artist follows his/her vision with disregard to popularity and people's tastes. A film maker who makes stuff in a way so that people will like it is not an artist but a salesman or an attention whore.

So, seeing as Lucas cut down on Jar Jar's screentime with each prequel as a result of negative public opinion on the character, does that make him an artist or a salesman?

The answer to that question would be clear if the reason behind his action was clear. But the reason you provided is your assumption so the answer (obtained by the algorithm I provided) would be unfortunately your assumption too.

真実

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Going to steal this from McKee. An IMAGE SYSTEM in film is:

a strategy of motifs, a category of imagery embedded in the film that repeats in sight and sound from beginning to end with persistence and great variation, but with equally great subtlety, as a subliminal communication to increase the depth and complexity of aesthetic emotion

In other words, a director can create a series of visuals and/or sound effects that subliminally communicate the film's conflict towards the audience. He cites some examples, such as the water imagery in Les Diabolique and the prison imagery in Casablanca.

 

Les Diabolique: A boarding school master's wife and mistress conspire to kill him because he turns into a sadistic SOB. They get him drunk one night and together they drown him in the bathtub. They then dump his body in the school's outdoor swimming pool, which has been covered with algae all winter. They expect the body will float back to the surface the next day and be discovered, but a few days go by and nothing happens. One of the women drops her keys into the pool on purpose so they can order the pool to be drained, and the camera fixes on the water level as it goes down and down all the way ... to the drain. Nothing. Soon it's a mystery what on earth happened to the man.

The entire film it's drizzly and foggy. The camera occasionally focuses in on raindrops pattering windows, or condensation forming. When dinner is served, they eat fish. When the students and teachers talk about summer vacation, they talk about "taking to the waters". The title card is painted in abstract grays and a truck tire splashing a puddle is the next shot. Why is water so ubiquitous in this film? Just for the hell of it? So the director can say how artistic he is? Hell no.

In the climax, the wife fears her husband is a ghost and haunting her. She wakes up from a nightmare in the dead of night, unable to sleep, and suddenly she hears noises coming from the bathroom. Drip. Drip. Drip. It's water. She goes into the bathroom and the bathtub is overflowing with water. Something is in it. And then the frightening end to the movie.

Water was used as an image system of fear in Les Diabolique.

 

Casablanca: An image system of imprisonment is created to add to the sense that the protagonists are trapped in the city. The beacon on the airport tower revolves around the city like the search light of a prison yard. Blinds, room dividers, stair railings, even the leaves of potted palms are filmed in a way to create shadows that mimic prison bars. The characters constantly use the word "escape".

Of course the main plot in Casablanca is that everyone is trying to get letters of transit so they can leave the city and reach freedom in the west. The image system subliminally stresses the point of feeling trapped and trying to get out.

 

When it's a failure:

When a hack fills their film with image systems that have nothing to do with the plot. As RLM pointed out, there is a scene in The Empire Strikes Back when Leia shoots at Slave I from a landing platform on Bespin. She's trying to save Han, but is too late, and it's probably the last time she will ever see the man she loves.

Flash back to Attack of the Clones. Padme rushes onto a landing platform and fires her blaster at another ship that is taking off. It's Count Dooku trying to escape. There's no emotional connection there, it's just a good person firing a weapon at a bad person who gets away. Big f***ing deal.

In Return of the Jedi, Luke kicks Vader into a backflip during their emotional father/son duel.

In Revenge of the Sith, Anakin kicks Dooku, just some standard bad guy, into a backflip during their fight.

These "rhymes" don't serve any purpose to building the depth and complexity of aesthetic emotion. They are not an example of a strategic image system, they are an example of someone who ran out of creative ideas, and decided to just lift entire scenes from his previous films. In fact, if you actually watched the films in order 1-6 and managed to make the connection between those scenes, the effect would be to actually lessen the emotion you feel while watching. Imagine Luke kicks Vader down the stairs, and instead of focusing on their emotional conflict, you suddenly remember "oh, that was just like the time Anakin was fighting Dooku. Or imagine you see Leia heartbroken on the landing platform, and instead of connecting with her emotions, you are left thinking, "hey that's just like the time Padme was shooting at Dooku."

That's why the "it's like poetry, it rhymes" line invites so much derision.

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The ring theory, even if totally valid, is not a counterpoint to the assessment that the prequels suck. 

Yeah, sure GL arranged for some visual and story mirroring. He's never been shy about that. 

PM me for links to my edits; apparently, some feel shy about this.

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In this case it's not artistry, it's just lazy writing.

Not to mention it can be easily destroyed. Every single prequel borrows heavily from each of the original films. Yes you can see a ring if you shut out every detail that doesn't support a ring.  I see a tangled up mess of hair and gum.

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The first two films work because they mirror each other.

A small pod carrying a droid is launched from the hanger of an Imperial Stardestroyer and lands on an extreme wilderness world.

After successfully completing it's mission an attack is launched to take down a power reactor.

The droid is hit by enemy fire.

Waves of defender craft are launched and pick off the attack craft one by one until the remaining attacker hits the target.

Only everything is in reverse, the Imperial ship is pointing ahead, instead of a hot desert we have a frozen ice world, instead of the Rebels attacking the Death Star it's the Imperials attacking the Rebels.

Instead of happening at the end of the film it happens at the beginning.

It can't be accidental it's clearly and deliberately staged that way.

So this sort of patterning in the whole sequence of films may well be deliberate. The difference is the first two films are almost perfect films with strong acting, tight editing and astonishing production values.

The other four films are not.

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

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And that's all we fucking have, two films. Oh why why why did it have to fall apart so fast into indefensible crap? Now I have swallow the jagged pill of a cliffhanger because of Jedi. The scales were alreasy tipped against us by the time Episode I came out. And come next year we will still only have two films because of the stupid plot twists we will all be but hung about in Episode VII, which will undo everything that happened in Jedi. At least if they just abandoned the movie franchise like they should 30 years ago things would have been much more tolerable.

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This whole ring theory thing has had a weird informercial vibe to me from the beginning. 

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generalfrevious said:

And that's all we fucking have, two films. Oh why why why did it have to fall apart so fast into indefensible crap? Now I have swallow the jagged pill of a cliffhanger because of Jedi. The scales were alreasy tipped against us by the time Episode I came out. And come next year we will still only have two films because of the stupid plot twists we will all be but hung about in Episode VII, which will undo everything that happened in Jedi. At least if they just abandoned the movie franchise like they should 30 years ago things would have been much more tolerable.

 

Reading this guy's posts is like watching Requiem for a Dream set to The Cure's Disintegration whilst eating uncooked generic ravioli straight from the can in the antechamber of a funeral home on a rainy afternoon in late October.

"These deadly rays will be your death..."

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Akton said:

generalfrevious said:

And that's all we fucking have, two films. Oh why why why did it have to fall apart so fast into indefensible crap? Now I have swallow the jagged pill of a cliffhanger because of Jedi. The scales were alreasy tipped against us by the time Episode I came out. And come next year we will still only have two films because of the stupid plot twists we will all be but hung about in Episode VII, which will undo everything that happened in Jedi. At least if they just abandoned the movie franchise like they should 30 years ago things would have been much more tolerable.

 

Reading this guy's posts is like watching Requiem for a Dream set to The Cure's Disintegration whilst eating uncooked generic ravioli straight from the can in the antechamber of a funeral home on a rainy afternoon in late October.

 Corporate art is still corporate art. Don't blame me that it has been bigger than ever before in the history of film.

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Frank your Majesty said:

I've read only the first page so far, but the author already seems to contradict himself. He says the ending of TPM is similar to the ending of ANH, but later he claims that TPM mirrors ROTJ.

If Lucas really intended to tell his saga in a ring structure he failed to implemet it properly and he failed to make the prequels actually good movies. No matter how elaborate his plans for the structure were, the stupidity of the prequels ruins any enjoyment you could get from "understanding the larger context".

And to imperialscum: Blaming Lucas is not blaming the ice cream, it's blaming the one who made the ice cream.

 Yea, that doesn't make any sense at all. He claims Anakin and Luke are mirrors in TPM and ANH, but Anakin doesn't even show up till what, an hour into the movie? Luke had a character arc, Anakin was pretty static.

A better argument would be that Anakin is akin to the Ewoks. They're both little, static as far as character development, and generally not taken seriously, but they end up playing an unexpected role in defeating the antagonists. That would also support the ring theory bs better by linking to ROTJ.

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Am I the only one who thought this was about people dying in 7 days after seeing (something) star wars (related) before reading the actual post?

The Bunny, The Bunny, woah, I love The Bunny

Possessed said:
Danfun, do you also love the soup and the bread, or just the bunny?

SilverWook said:
Use of the bunny outside off topic is getting out of hand.
When outside off topic, use a link to the bunny if you really feel the need to invoke it.
Warnings will be next if some restraint is not shown.

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yes. stop watching shitty "scary" movies.

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generalfrevious said:

Akton said:

generalfrevious said:

And that's all we fucking have, two films. Oh why why why did it have to fall apart so fast into indefensible crap? Now I have swallow the jagged pill of a cliffhanger because of Jedi. The scales were alreasy tipped against us by the time Episode I came out. And come next year we will still only have two films because of the stupid plot twists we will all be but hung about in Episode VII, which will undo everything that happened in Jedi. At least if they just abandoned the movie franchise like they should 30 years ago things would have been much more tolerable.

 

Reading this guy's posts is like watching Requiem for a Dream set to The Cure's Disintegration whilst eating uncooked generic ravioli straight from the can in the antechamber of a funeral home on a rainy afternoon in late October.

 Corporate art is still corporate art. Don't blame me that it has been bigger than ever before in the history of film.

*deep breath*

WE DON'T BLAME YOU FOR THE THINGS YOU BITCH ABOUT.  WE BLAME YOU FOR BITCHING OVER AND OVER ABOUT THE SAME SHIT.

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Leonardo said:

yes. stop watching shitty "scary" movies.

 I liked The Ring, so there.

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TV's Frink said:

Leonardo said:

yes. stop watching shitty "scary" movies.

 I liked The Ring, so there.

 Japanese or American version?

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generalfrevious said:

TV's Frink said:

Leonardo said:

yes. stop watching shitty "scary" movies.

 I liked The Ring, so there.

 Japanese or American version?

*suddenly appearing* Never saw the American one (why watching a remake?), but the Japanese version was ok. Its sequel was way better, as far as I remember.

Even though no movie scares the s**t out of me, every summer movie is definitely s**t to me.

The Original Trilogy’s Timeline Reconstruction: http://originaltrilogy.com/forum/topic.cfm/Implied-starting-date-of-the-Empire-from-OT-dialogue/post/786201/#TopicPost786201

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generalfrevious said:

TV's Frink said:

Leonardo said:

yes. stop watching shitty "scary" movies.

 I liked The Ring, so there.

 Japanese or American version?

 I've never seen Ringu.

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Ringu 'round the rosie, a pocket full of posies. Ashes! Ashes! we all fall down!

TRANSMODERNISM > POSTMODERNISM > MODERNISM > PREMODERNISM

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Danfun128 said:

Am I the only one who thought this was about people dying in 7 days after seeing (something) star wars (related) before reading the actual post?

 That only happens if you don't return the VHS back to the video store, or worse still, forget to rewind. ;)

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