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What do you think of the Sequel Trilogy? - a general discussion thread — Page 7

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Servii said:

thebluefrog said:

A major problem with all 3 movies was Rey’s constant winning and Kylo’s constant losing.

A hero and their journey is only as good as the villain and their antagonism.

Imagine if Obi-Wan had WON the very first lightsaber duel back in 1977.

That would’ve killed Vader’s character from the start.

Kylo’s loss at the end of TFA was the first crack. Then losing against Rey again in Snoke’s room. And then being humiliated by Luke. And then losing again to Rey again 1/2 of the way through Rise. Also, her ability to beat Luke while training didn’t help any character progression either.

Rey had no consistent hero’s journey. Yes, yes, you can make all sorts of arguments about scene x or development y, they’ve been done before–the point is that the growth of the heroic character overcoming obstacles isn’t coherent. Since Kylo was neutered as a threat midway through TLJ, they had to use Palpatine to give her a new challenge, which didn’t thematically fit at all from her starting point.

I agree completely. People often forget that Palpatine was brought back mainly out of desperation. TLJ ended with Kylo standing alone as the main villain (Hux having been made a joke), but the films hadn’t done nearly enough to prepare the character to fill that role. So, they had a villain void going into Episode IX, and tried to fix that by transplanting an OT villain into the story.

And of course, having your protagonist consistently outmatch your antagonist is generally a bad idea. There are exceptions, and ways to make an overpowered hero work in a plot, but the sequel trilogy didn’t handle that well. And a Star Wars story really needs a strong villain in order to work.

The sequels treat Rey’s journey as being very similar to Luke’s, when it really shouldn’t be. While Luke’s journey was more about him growing his power, Rey’s journey should have been about her learning to control her innate power. That’s one way you can make a powerful protagonist work. TLJ had some faint hints of this idea, but failed to commit to it.

Before TLJ came out, there was lots of media attention to the new Star Wars villains. TFA left many many many things unexplained, so people were genuinely interested in what they were going to do. There were photoshoots in NON Star Wars related mediums, like Vanity Fair:

TLJ reduced all of these threats to jokes (including Snoke).

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That Vanity Fair photo of Hux, Kylo Ren and Phasma is one of my favourites by Annie Leibowitz.

The last few posts touch upon something that has been bothering me about Disney’s SW in general, which is the good guys are so good at winning it makes me wonder how are the bad guys in charge.

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fmalover said:

The last few posts touch upon something that has been bothering me about Disney’s SW in general, which is the good guys are so good at winning it makes me wonder how are the bad guys in charge.

It’s not like the original trilogy is hugely different, with the obvious exception of Empire, with the Battle of Hoth and the capture of Leia and Han. I know you think Rebels is the prime culprit for this issue, but I think the biggest Disney SW equivalents to these moments come from that series. The Battle of Atollon is similar to Hoth - Rebels overwhelmingly defeated, although the rest of their fleet scatters and the main characters manage to escape - or the Rebels’ assault on Lothal, where every x-wing is shot down before the attack can even begin.

The Battle of Scarif in Rogue One might be a Rebel victory but it still has huge casualties for the Rebellion as Death Troopers and Vader get involved.

I can’t defend the sequels or The Mandalorian in this respect though.

“Remember, the Force will be with you. Always.”

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yotsuya said:

Those who don’t like these films find ways to explain why they don’t like them. That some don’t like them because they are too different and others don’t like them because they are too similar shows that both views are in they eye of the viewer. Apply the same critiques to the PT and you will get the same result. They are either too similar or too different. TPM, ANH, and TFA all have similar beats and echo each other. In each one a young person with no direction finds a mentor and before the mentor can impart very much, they die. In each one there is a space battle where the hero plays a decisive part (in TFA Rey helps plant the explosives that opens the whole for the destruciton of Starkiller base where in the other two Anakin and Luke are the fighter pilot who fires the shot that destroys the base). The hero meets the other two in the trio that carries through the trilogy. TPM doesn’t have any plans or map as a McGiffin. And I could go on, but why? I think I made my point.

Technically The Phantom Menace and A New Hope do share many similar story beats but equally The Phantom Menace shares many story beats with Return of the Jedi too. The difference between them and The Force Awakens is one isn’t going out of its way to copy and paste the same story we’ve seen before to the minutest detail. The story surrounding a young Force sensitive who gets off planet to begin their journey as a Jedi is vastly different in both of George’s two films. It has the same basic framework of the story being told through two characters Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan and R2-D2/C-3PO as is the personal story of Padme and Leia of trying to help their people while being juxtaposed alongside the fractional stories of Anakin and Luke. The intentions are all different to create symmetry and poetry within the narratives. It’s all meant to echo but not copy and paste. Poetry has to be different to work but with The Force Awakens it’s lifting the complete story from A New Hope beat for beat. There’s nothing new or anything that isn’t meant to draw lines between it and the Original Trilogy. You don’t have that with The Phantom Menace per say as it’s new and original but at the same time familiar with the shift towards the Empire gradually being painted subtly. It’s a difficult tightrope to execute as there’s so much nuance to making a Star Wars film.

Rey may have planted explosives but it’s meant to be just like Han in Return of the Jedi. She also has parallels with Anakin, Luke, and Obi-Wan. That’s a real problem as it’s lifting parallels without understanding context as to why they’re there in the first place. The why is mostly to echo and illustrate the sins of the father and son and their shared journey to finally fully intertwine on Death Star II. It could be extended further with the next generation of the Skywalker family through the “Skywalker Parallels” but the intention of the first six films is to create symmetry between Anakin and Luke. It’s not to create a mismatch of parallels like they give Rey and ulimately through giving her everything as the plot says she must have them as she’s the protagonist. There’s always an exception to every rule within reason through George’s six films but not without thought put behind its purpose within the narrative. His films were an ecological value system and about the collective whole as much as they were about poetry.

The Phantom Menace also does have one through a map. The map R2-D2 shows Padme, Boss Nass, Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and indirectly young Anakin of Theed to illustrate the plan to capture Nute Gunray. However it’s not blatantly drawing lines. It’s much more subtle and letting the viewer find the connection instead of telling you as the pointer scene in The Force Awakens does.

These two videos explain what I’m saying:

https://youtu.be/Btp1BoGbuiM

https://youtu.be/XtArKawnWNI

“Heroes come in all sizes, and you don’t have to be a giant hero. You can be a very small hero. It’s just as important to understand that accepting self-responsibility for the things you do, having good manners, caring about other people - these are heroic acts. Everybody has the choice of being a hero or not being a hero every day of their lives.” - George Lucas

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thebluefrog said:

A major problem with all 3 movies was Rey’s constant winning and Kylo’s constant losing.

A hero and their journey is only as good as the villain and their antagonism.

Imagine if Obi-Wan had WON the very first lightsaber duel back in 1977.

That would’ve killed Vader’s character from the start.

Kylo’s loss at the end of TFA was the first crack. Then losing against Rey again in Snoke’s room. And then being humiliated by Luke. And then losing again to Rey again 1/2 of the way through Rise. Also, her ability to beat Luke while training didn’t help any character progression either.

Rey had no consistent hero’s journey. Yes, yes, you can make all sorts of arguments about scene x or development y, they’ve been done before–the point is that the growth of the heroic character overcoming obstacles isn’t coherent. Since Kylo was neutered as a threat midway through TLJ, they had to use Palpatine to give her a new challenge, which didn’t thematically fit at all from her starting point.

One theme is Star Wars is redemption. We see Anakin return to the light so Ben returning to the light fits very well. And Kylo didn’t really lose in TFA. Chewy shot him and he was fighting injured and the ground split open before their duel was finished. And he didn’t really lose in TLJ, the saber broke and he didn’t want the pieces and left Rey to fend for herself. And he filled Rey with doubts about her identity. Luke’s journey was defined by doubts about his ability. Rey’s journey was defined by doubts about her identity. Bringing back Palpatine was brilliant in terms of her identity crisis, echoing Legends, echoing the Flash Gordon serial origins of Star Wars, and is mythic

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With TFA, whether Kylo was injured beforehand or not, it makes little difference in the impression his defeat leaves on the audience. Watching Kylo Ren flop around in the snow is a fast way to undo any sense of menace or threat surrounding the character. The film goes out of its way to set him up to lose the fight. The question is, what purpose does that serve to the story? What difference would it have made if the fight had ended from the crevice opening without there being a clear winner?

As for TLJ, Kylo didn’t leave Rey to fend for herself. He was unconscious. Rey wasn’t. Another issue is the fact that Kylo was visibly struggling against the Praetorian guards and had to be bailed out by Rey, who had noticeably less trouble taking them out.

As for Palpatine, I remember as far back in 2012, when the EU was decanonized, that a lot of fans pointed to Dark Empire as an example of a particular low point of storytelling, and used it as proof that the old EU was junk. Then, when people criticized TFA and TLJ, defenders of the films again pointed to Dark Empire as evidence that the new Canon was better. Choosing to copy Dark Empire, and making basically a worse, watered down version of it, was really not a good decision.

Edit: And I almost forgot Rey turning Kylo’s mind interrogation back on him in TFA. There’s a pretty consistent sense in TFA and TLJ that Rey is simply a superior Force user to Kylo.

But we can’t turn back. Fear is their greatest defense. I doubt if the actual security there is any greater than it was on Aquilae or Sullust. And what there is is most likely directed towards a large-scale assault.

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yotsuya said:

thebluefrog said:

A major problem with all 3 movies was Rey’s constant winning and Kylo’s constant losing.

A hero and their journey is only as good as the villain and their antagonism.

Imagine if Obi-Wan had WON the very first lightsaber duel back in 1977.

That would’ve killed Vader’s character from the start.

Kylo’s loss at the end of TFA was the first crack. Then losing against Rey again in Snoke’s room. And then being humiliated by Luke. And then losing again to Rey again 1/2 of the way through Rise. Also, her ability to beat Luke while training didn’t help any character progression either.

Rey had no consistent hero’s journey. Yes, yes, you can make all sorts of arguments about scene x or development y, they’ve been done before–the point is that the growth of the heroic character overcoming obstacles isn’t coherent. Since Kylo was neutered as a threat midway through TLJ, they had to use Palpatine to give her a new challenge, which didn’t thematically fit at all from her starting point.

One theme is Star Wars is redemption. We see Anakin return to the light so Ben returning to the light fits very well. And Kylo didn’t really lose in TFA. Chewy shot him and he was fighting injured and the ground split open before their duel was finished. And he didn’t really lose in TLJ, the saber broke and he didn’t want the pieces and left Rey to fend for herself. And he filled Rey with doubts about her identity. Luke’s journey was defined by doubts about his ability. Rey’s journey was defined by doubts about her identity. Bringing back Palpatine was brilliant in terms of her identity crisis, echoing Legends, echoing the Flash Gordon serial origins of Star Wars, and is mythic

Saying “technically” he didn’t lose is irrelevant because it’s a visual medium; the bad guy lying on the ground as the hero is still walking = loss.

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Every time I want out…this place pulls me back in.

Retroblasting’s take on the ST is all you need: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbB5jQFK2es

“It is only through interaction, through decision and choice, through confrontation, physical or mental, that the Force can grow within you.”
-Kreia, Jedi Master and Sith Lord

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theprequelsrule said:

Every time I want out…this place pulls me back in.

Retroblasting’s take on the ST is all you need: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbB5jQFK2es

Welcome back! Good to see you again.

Great video. Retroblasting is spot-on. You can tell how fed up he is here.

But we can’t turn back. Fear is their greatest defense. I doubt if the actual security there is any greater than it was on Aquilae or Sullust. And what there is is most likely directed towards a large-scale assault.

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Servii said:

theprequelsrule said:

Every time I want out…this place pulls me back in.

Retroblasting’s take on the ST is all you need: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbB5jQFK2es

Welcome back! Good to see you again.

Great video. Retroblasting is spot-on. You can tell how fed up he is here.

I appreciate the kind words. I’m not sure how “good” it is to be back though, lol!

“It is only through interaction, through decision and choice, through confrontation, physical or mental, that the Force can grow within you.”
-Kreia, Jedi Master and Sith Lord

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I think what it comes down to is that movies come from a certain time and place and when a person is in a certain time and place. Star Wars would not be Star Wars if it didn’t involve George Lucas and the people around him during the 1970s. If he had started work on it 5 years earlier or 5 years later we would have gotten a different film.

I have a theory (just a theory), that is probably going to generate some controversy…Star Wars is a conservative film. It is very much a modern Western. George Lucas was not some pot smoking hippie. Coming at the source material from a liberal progressive angle has created the bizarre content we see under Disney. Even when it is made well…it just seems off.

You cannot make a Star Wars film in 2022 unless you are John Milius. It might have the name…but it is an empty shell inside. That is a quote from a Steven Seagal movie.

“It is only through interaction, through decision and choice, through confrontation, physical or mental, that the Force can grow within you.”
-Kreia, Jedi Master and Sith Lord

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George has been described as a more “conservative” guy, but not in the political or ideological sense. The Rebels in Star Wars were the Viet Cong, and the Empire and the Emperor were the United States and Nixon. George has said this.

For the prequels, there is literally a quote out there where he says Bush is Vader and Cheney is the Emperor. Even Anakin’s line, “If you’re not with me, then you’re my enemy” is a paraphrase of Bush’s, “If you’re not with us, you’re with the terrorists”.

I do think that the original Star Wars film was vague enough for the message to feel like it could apply to anyone. A liberal or conservative could watch Star Wars and see themselves as the Rebel underdogs. Although I’m not really sure what could be seen as explicitly “liberal progressive” that the internet or media hasn’t primed people to identify as such.

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Well I am probably just an out of touch old fart! 😃

But…wouldn’t a better idea for the ST been about following Luke’s attempts to rebuild the order? So, like a lot of others have said, the conception was flawed from the start.

Or was it? I remember reading that the original writer for TFA (Arndt) said he struggled to produce a script because Luke always dominated the scenes whenever he was in it. So there was a last minute script done by Abrams and Kasdan that essentially was a soft reboot.

I’m not totally sure about what happened in pre-production, but from what I have read (which is of course limited) it seems that TFA was not originally envisioned as a soft reboot.

Anyway; one concept I liked was of Kylo Ren being powerful, but ineffective. Strong in The Force, but militarily and politically inept. I would have liked Ren to have been killed off by Snoke in TLJ and have Rey join him. Luke comes out of retirement to join Finn and Poe, realizing that galaxy needs the Jedi.

“It is only through interaction, through decision and choice, through confrontation, physical or mental, that the Force can grow within you.”
-Kreia, Jedi Master and Sith Lord

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But…wouldn’t a better idea for the ST been about following Luke’s attempts to rebuild the order? So, like a lot of others have said, the conception was flawed from the start.

Or was it? I remember reading that the original writer for TFA (Arndt) said he struggled to produce a script because Luke always dominated the scenes whenever he was in it. So there was a last minute script done by Abrams and Kasdan that essentially was a soft reboot.

I’ve said this before, but Luke in the sequels really should have been a wise, Dumbledore-like figure presiding over his Jedi academy. He could be mostly a minor character, only stepping into the action when the situation becomes especially serious.

And of course, the profit potential for Disney from having a New Jedi Academy was a massive missed opportunity. They could have made a whole kids’ theme park experience around that. Kids could have gotten to be Luke’s students at the Temple and have the whole padawan experience. From both a creative perspective, and from a self-serving, profit-seeking corporate perspective, giving Luke an at least semi-functional New Jedi Order just makes sense.

But we can’t turn back. Fear is their greatest defense. I doubt if the actual security there is any greater than it was on Aquilae or Sullust. And what there is is most likely directed towards a large-scale assault.

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I will say that the new leads really gave their all throughout the ST. They deserved better films in the end.

In regards to the OT leads - I thought Hamill was good, Ford okay, but Carrie Fisher was terrible; she was painful to watch.

“It is only through interaction, through decision and choice, through confrontation, physical or mental, that the Force can grow within you.”
-Kreia, Jedi Master and Sith Lord

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Hamill was great in Last Jedi only. He did nothing in Force Awakens and his performance in Rise of Skywalker was painfully phoned in. Ford on the other hand was fantastic in both Force Awakens and Rise of Skywalker. Carrie was good in Last Jedi, and they had to create a non existing performance in Rise of Skywalker since she died. Its unfair to judge her part in the sequels when each movie was supposed to be about one of the OT characters. Ford’s was Force Awakens, Hamill’s was Last Jedi and Fisher’s was supposed to be episode 9.

Lando really got shortchanged, Billy Dee was as good as ever and they gave him nothing to do in these. Its disgraceful. Same for Finn and Boyega running around shouting Rey but never becoming a Jedi or connecting to the story of his being a runaway stormtrooper. Rose basically being all but deleted from the 9th film.

and Poe who was interesting and a potentially new character direction just another Han ripoff and Spice runner in episode 9. Episode 9 just sucks.

Rey being shoehorned into the Luke Skywalker role and paradigm in episode 9 instead of allowing her to be her own character. Go off in her own direction. Just to tie everything up in a neat bow when nothing in this Disney trilogy was planned.

Honestly episode 9 is worse than the prequels. The way it ruins the myth of Star Wars and shrinks the universe is uncanny.

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So what are we supposed to think about the SW Universe at the end of the last film? I mean, are there going to be no more Jedi? Is Rey just going to be a farmer? Will Finn and Poe get married? I can’t remember too much (the dialogue in particular) since I only saw ROS once and was only barely paying attention by the end.

“It is only through interaction, through decision and choice, through confrontation, physical or mental, that the Force can grow within you.”
-Kreia, Jedi Master and Sith Lord

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theprequelsrule said:

So what are we supposed to think about the SW Universe at the end of the last film? I mean, are there going to be no more Jedi? Is Rey just going to be a farmer? Will Finn and Poe get married? I can’t remember too much (the dialogue in particular) since I only saw ROS once and was only barely paying attention by the end.

Nothing in the sequel trilogy will matter with future Star Wars media.

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I definitely agree with you though, prequelsrule, about how it would’ve been nice to have seen Luke with a thriving (or at least some students) Jedi order.

I also agree, that if they jump ahead beyond the sequel trilogy, there will just be a Jedi order and it won’t matter who started it per se. I feel Luke will be seen as the founder of the New Jedi Order, and Rey will be seen as his successor who continued it after him.

There are some things that the new films did that I do think feel appropriate or inevitable. To me, the biggest thing that just feels right is Han being killed by his own son. It seems like people were genuinely mad about this, but it just feels right in the sense of these movies being a dramatic family soap opera in space.

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theprequelsrule said:

I have a theory (just a theory), that is probably going to generate some controversy…Star Wars is a conservative film. It is very much a modern Western. George Lucas was not some pot smoking hippie. Coming at the source material from a liberal progressive angle has created the bizarre content we see under Disney. Even when it is made well…it just seems off.

RogueLeader said:

George has been described as a more “conservative” guy, but not in the political or ideological sense. The Rebels in Star Wars were the Viet Cong, and the Empire and the Emperor were the United States and Nixon. George has said this.

For the prequels, there is literally a quote out there where he says Bush is Vader and Cheney is the Emperor. Even Anakin’s line, “If you’re not with me, then you’re my enemy” is a paraphrase of Bush’s, “If you’re not with us, you’re with the terrorists”.

I do think that the original Star Wars film was vague enough for the message to feel like it could apply to anyone. A liberal or conservative could watch Star Wars and see themselves as the Rebel underdogs. Although I’m not really sure what could be seen as explicitly “liberal progressive” that the internet or media hasn’t primed people to identify as such.

George is “conservative” in the sense he values tradition and the romanticism of civility. He has said he finds contemporary storytelling boring. He prefers to teach through action of characters and visual literacy versus more of a narrative literacy preacher as you see more often these days. He also values doing things as cost effective as possible. He learned this skill from his father who was very conservative but fair. George is more “liberal” in terms of his political views and wanting a fair and equal society. He values the underdog. He’s a complex individual as all the really great creatives are.

The key difference between George’s films and Disney’s films when it comes to ideology is the people and what they do with their power. With the Disney era it’s mostly portrayed with the exception of Rogue One that good guys are good and bad guys are bad. It’s used more in a symbolism type of way like DJ. He’s a symbol. This compared to George who let the viewer draw their own conclusions with subtly. You see it with say Dooku who is a living and breathing character with ideologies and views but has a history with Qui-Gon and Jedi to go along with leading the Separatist Movement. He also has a place within the story as a foil to Anakin and to foreshadow what he will become. With DJ he’s just there to tell us the Resistance and First Order are good and bad. We don’t actually see or understand the conflict they’re going through except on superficial levels. We hear about how the Republic needs to be restored but we have no reason to understand why it’s needed. We merely understand it on some level in The Force Awakens due to its over familiarity with A New Hope. It’s all about context that is lost and how ideology is portrayed as good and bad in the Disney films with no middle ground.

The best example of this within George’s story is comparing the Rebel Alliance on Hoth and Geonosisians on Geonosis. Both are rebels but with different intentions and beliefs. One is separating from the Republic, the other is trying to bring it back. Both are trying to escape the capture of the Republic and Empire but the implications of what will happen to both if caught is completely different. They’re similar from each other but different.

The Prequels and Originals are meant to mirror and juxtaposition one another. You don’t get this with the Sequels as it’s trying to be familiar to the Originals without understanding context. The next logical move is exactly what George planned with a power vacuum created by the end of the Empire and Hutts. Space pirates and others would try to exploit the Republic from securing itself again. There’s no logic or reason within universe to understand how the First Order secured funds and amassed a massive fleet without massive exposition. They avoided it anyways and went for what was easy.

RogueLeader said:

I definitely agree with you though, prequelsrule, about how it would’ve been nice to have seen Luke with a thriving (or at least some students) Jedi order.

I also agree, that if they jump ahead beyond the sequel trilogy, there will just be a Jedi order and it won’t matter who started it per se. I feel Luke will be seen as the founder of the New Jedi Order, and Rey will be seen as his successor who continued it after him.

This is exactly what George planned to do. There would be 50 to 100 survivors of Order 66 and over the course of the trilogy he would rebuild the Jedi Order then pass on in Episode IX. I assume in this scenario the Solowalker granddaughter would become the Grand Jedi Master bestowed onto her by Luke after defeating Darth Maul and Darth Talon. Luke would have his material victory and Leia would too for that matter as she’s elected Supreme Chancellor to echo Padme giving away democracy in The Phantom Menace.

Everything came full circle within George’s story instead of ending with putting us in the same story position in a matter of speaking as Return of the Jedi.

“Heroes come in all sizes, and you don’t have to be a giant hero. You can be a very small hero. It’s just as important to understand that accepting self-responsibility for the things you do, having good manners, caring about other people - these are heroic acts. Everybody has the choice of being a hero or not being a hero every day of their lives.” - George Lucas

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I defend the use of The Emperor, both in Dark Empire and ROS. I like the idea of this immortal being of pure evil energy as the villain throughout the whole saga. The problem is that there is no set-up or hints given that 'Ol Palpy might still be alive and behind it all in TFA or TLJ. That could have been the surprise in TLJ; it was the reason Luke has been in exile - he sensed Palps was behind what was going on and was looking to track down his location. Wait…is that the explanation Force Ghost Luke gives towards the end of ROS? I forget.

Anyway, it would have been cool if the Falcon comes out of hyperspace at the end of TFA in the middle of a fleet of Imperial-class Star Destroyers instead of finding Luke.

“It is only through interaction, through decision and choice, through confrontation, physical or mental, that the Force can grow within you.”
-Kreia, Jedi Master and Sith Lord

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theprequelsrule said:

That could have been the surprise in TLJ; it was the reason Luke has been in exile - he sensed Palps was behind what was going on and was looking to track down his location. Wait…is that the explanation Force Ghost Luke gives towards the end of ROS? I forget.

Nope: he says “It was fear that brought me here,” whatever that means. Your idea is a lot better though.

I actually came up with a similar idea a year or two ago, but I didn’t want Luke to explicitly know that Palpatine was behind it all: Luke would sense that a powerful dark energy was behind Ben’s turn and the rise of the First Order, but he would have no idea what that energy came from. At the end of TLJ, Kylo would be called to the Unknown Regions by that mysterious dark energy, which would turn out to be coming from Palpatine in a cliffhanger ending.

My preferred Skywalker Saga experience:
I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX

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What I’ve been able to uncover about what George’s treatment for VII was going to be about was very similar to what we got. Even before Lucas sold Star Wars to Disney, Luke was pushed out of VII and into VIII. VII was going to be about finding Luke. I think it would have been better if we hadn’t seen him and the end of VII was more like the end of TESB with Rey and Chewie going off to find Luke and then a gap between the two films. But Rian Johnson really nailed the opening of TLJ with out Abrams left TFA. Really all 3 films have an epilogue (Rey finding Luke, the broom boy, and Rey burying Luke and Leia’s sabers). I think TFA is the weakest one. It sets up the story and most of the flaws consistently pointed out in the other two films stem from what Abrams setup in TFA. I don’t agree that they are necessarily flaws, but I feel that Abrams set them up. Some of them Lucas setup. Lucas had the girl as the Jedi in training. Lucas had Luke in exile. I love what Rian Johnson did with Luke because given what Abrams established in TFA, Johnson mined ANH and TESB for qualities and traits that Luke had the might resurface in the face of a tragedy that would make him go into self-exile.

I’ve studied how movies develop, particular the Star Wars movies, and what I see in Lucas’s original ideas and the pre-Abrams draft of IX are a basis for how the films developed and mutated into what we go. TESB and ROTJ went through similar mutations. I think Abrams played it too safe with TFA and make some bad story telling choices. I think if he would have been more daring like he was with TROS that it would have been a better film.

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StarkillerAG said:

theprequelsrule said:

That could have been the surprise in TLJ; it was the reason Luke has been in exile - he sensed Palps was behind what was going on and was looking to track down his location. Wait…is that the explanation Force Ghost Luke gives towards the end of ROS? I forget.

Nope: he says “It was fear that brought me here,”

This line bothers me so much, specifically because Rian Johnson’s whole starting position dealing with Luke was that it couldn’t be fear that brought him to Ahch-To.

Death of the Author

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TFA was how i fell in love with star wars. i know a lot of older fans like to rag on TFA for being “too similar” to ANH but it’s the movie that made me, a then-15 year old girl truly see why people adored star wars. it was pure fun, with likeable and charismatic characters you enjoyed seeing and left wanting more of and action that made me breathless. i ADORED the new trio especially. finn and poe’s instant camaraderie & finn and rey’s sweet friendship were both lovely, fresh dynamics for our main cast. and i know people aren’t fond of rey, but i loved her quietly stubborn, scrappy additude and slight naïveté. TFA is the movie that truly kickstarted my star wars obsession. its not a perfect movie narratively, and its definitely obvious they had no plan at all but its everything people like about star wars distilled into a movie, made with love.

i hated TLJ at first but grew to appreciate it more upon rewatch, though i still view it as an insanely mixed bag. its highs were astronomically high and its lows were so, so low. let me say the good things first; TLJ is the first star wars movie with clear thematic storytelling and metacommentary on the nature of heroes, failure, the force and the place of the jedi. i like how johnson wanted to challenge what our idea of a star wars movie is. its also the first (and so far only) star wars movie with a hyper-distinctive visual style. i appreciate how the shots are a bit more artistic than what we usually see in action blockbusters. rey’s parents being nobodies was an inspired narrative foil to luke’s own parentage reveal in ESB. luke’s arc was truly special and him dying as the noble, selfless hero we know him to be was deeply moving. onto the bad side of things; i got the sense that rian johnson knew exactly what kind of story he wanted to tell with rey/luke/kylo, but had no clue what to do with finn, poe or even poor rose. the canto bite subplot brutally misunderstands finn and poe’s characters, and does the strength of the trio a major disservice by seperating the two of them instead of building on their relationship. rose was nonsensical as a love interest for finn, he would have legitimately been better off with either rey or poe if he needed a romance. this subplot was TLJ’s biggest mistake, as 2/3s of our main trio have either has their development regressed (finn) or personalities changed altogether (poe). their plotline actively brings the whole movie down, which is even more egregious since they are two of our main leads and should be of EQUAL IMPORTANCE to rey. in the end TLJ is just frustrating to me because its effectively half of a phenomenal movie and half of a movie i just cannot stand.

ROS makes me angry, but also sad. sad because it truly felt like an entirely soulless, corporate movie in a way the others never did. i can’t even be mad at jj abrams because according to the cast and crew, most of the disliked changes came from disney executives and abrams had no real power on the creative decisions being made. the only good things i can think of in this movie are that we get to see the main trio finally interact as a unit, and their exchanges are charming as usual. if i listed what i disliked i’d be here all day. its so obvious this movie was just made to appease the biggest amount of people so they could make money. there wasn’t any love there anymore, and you could tell the actors were deeply saddened about the way things went. ROS reversed everything good TFA and TLJ did to give us a truly forgettable finale that actively hurt both the sequel trilogy and public interest in star wars.

in the end, the sequel trilogy is missed potential for me. even a middling series can be good if it sticks the landing, but something about ROS just makes everything else in the trilogy ring hollow. its just depressing to think about