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What if The Prequels were based on the Pre-PT EU and were more "OT Accurate"? — Page 2

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BedeHistory731 said:

I’d want to push back on that. This view is also heavily informed by modern rejection of religious institutions, colored by decades worth of abuse scandals and cults getting exposed (e.g., Scientology and the Unification Church). The “cult that captures children and brainwashes them” doesn’t seem so unreasonable after watching Jesus Camp or any numerous videos of indoctrinated fundamentalist children. The Jedi also acting as an added branch of government doesn’t help much, given how religious institutions have invested in candidates over the years. Hell, I’m not surprised Jedi molester stories aren’t more common within AO3 fanfics.

The intention may have been noble to show monastic life in a positive light, but the execution in the films has left things open to this more critical interpretation. I wouldn’t say it’s wrong at all, but rather just operating off of what has been presented in the media/real-world context. It’s a bit of that post-Catholic scandal/post-911 antitheism of which the internet has long enjoyed.

I agree with all this - it’s just bizarre that apparently George Lucas really believed he was portraying the Jedi in a positive light. The interpretation most people on the Internet seem to adhere to - that the Prequels purposely portray the Jedi as a flawed institution (like the Catholic Church or something) - is almost certainly incorrect. Multiple interviews with George Lucas reveal that he believes the Jedi and their anti-attachment philosophy was correct, and the only reason Anakin fell was because he gave in to his fear of loss.

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There are also some weirdos who read Lucas’ divorce into the Jedi’s anti-attachment philosophy, which just seems really invasive. If you want Lucas’ “break-up” movie, it’s called Temple of Doom.

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Channel72 said:

BedeHistory731 said:

I’d want to push back on that. This view is also heavily informed by modern rejection of religious institutions, colored by decades worth of abuse scandals and cults getting exposed (e.g., Scientology and the Unification Church). The “cult that captures children and brainwashes them” doesn’t seem so unreasonable after watching Jesus Camp or any numerous videos of indoctrinated fundamentalist children. The Jedi also acting as an added branch of government doesn’t help much, given how religious institutions have invested in candidates over the years. Hell, I’m not surprised Jedi molester stories aren’t more common within AO3 fanfics.

The intention may have been noble to show monastic life in a positive light, but the execution in the films has left things open to this more critical interpretation. I wouldn’t say it’s wrong at all, but rather just operating off of what has been presented in the media/real-world context. It’s a bit of that post-Catholic scandal/post-911 antitheism of which the internet has long enjoyed.

I agree with all this - it’s just bizarre that apparently George Lucas really believed he was portraying the Jedi in a positive light. The interpretation most people on the Internet seem to adhere to - that the Prequels purposely portray the Jedi as a flawed institution (like the Catholic Church or something) - is almost certainly incorrect. Multiple interviews with George Lucas reveal that he believes the Jedi and their anti-attachment philosophy was correct, and the only reason Anakin fell was because he gave in to his fear of loss.

I agree, with the added complication that in the context of the movies they are right. They come off looking bad to people who want to go “ooooh, not a good look” but they’re right about almost everything.

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Channel72 said:
I agree with all this - it’s just bizarre that apparently George Lucas really believed he was portraying the Jedi in a positive light. The interpretation most people on the Internet seem to adhere to - that the Prequels purposely portray the Jedi as a flawed institution (like the Catholic Church or something) - is almost certainly incorrect. Multiple interviews with George Lucas reveal that he believes the Jedi and their anti-attachment philosophy was correct, and the only reason Anakin fell was because he gave in to his fear of loss.

I actually don’t think these things have to live contradictorily. Institution != the beliefs, what is taught doesn’t account for the pedagogy. Lucas believing he portrayed the Jedi as characters positively doesn’t preclude the notion that the Jedi Order as it was is cooked, especially when said Order is so pointedly entwined with a galactic government Lucas is criticizing. “Golden Age of the Jedi” is objective nomenclature that reflects status and power in a narrative indicting status and power. There is a lot more happening in what he’s talked about than the popular terms often dictated by fans in debate.

And like, Lucas can be wrong about his own work. If we were talking about real world baggage, this is its value in a fictional space that’s expanded beyond his authorial engagement.

Andor: The Rogue One Arc

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NFBisms said:

And like, Lucas can be wrong about his own work.

Don’t let the Fandumb Menace hear this.

“The Anarchists are right in everything; in the negation of the existing order and in the assertion that, without Authority there could not be worse violence than that of Authority under existing conditions. They are mistaken only in thinking that anarchy can be instituted by a violent revolution… There can be only one permanent revolution — a moral one: the regeneration of the inner man. How is this revolution to take place? Nobody knows how it will take place in humanity, but every man feels it clearly in himself. And yet in our world everybody thinks of changing humanity, and nobody thinks of changing himself.”

― Leo Tolstoy

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That may be true but I think people use “death of the author” way too often to justify bad interpretations. Lucas’s intent still has a lot of weight.

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In junction with what I’m saying though, it’s more like - I’m personally not a stoic buddhist, so that’s where I would disagree with Lucas’ admiration of those ideas in his work. At the very least, would be disinterested in it. If an audience is discomforted with detachment valued in that way, I do think there is space left by Lucas to feel that - you just wouldn’t be a Jedi in his world.

And again, this is where I feel like it’s always discussed so binarily - as “good” and “bad” interpretations. Flawed institutions, unwieldy pedagogy, and slavish dogma, etc. can be separate case study in the work from philosophical beliefs. It’s not contradictory for Lucas to posit those things and still come out believing Jedi are good. But could they be Good in the time/space he depicted? Exploring what can go wrong with tangible incidence, is not the same as exploring what is wrong with abstract ideas. And we always keep circling back to confusion over that messiness, when the messiness is almost the point. It’s war and politics considered over serial adventure, we’ve always known that, it comes with the territory.

But beyond that, the OT has the focused thematic answers from those questions one would be looking for anyway. Luke Skywalker has friends he cares about and succeeds through the love of a son to his father. You couldn’t be a prequel Jedi, but detachment is considered with far more balance with the whole saga in mind.

Andor: The Rogue One Arc

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NFBisms said:

In junction with what I’m saying though, it’s more like - I’m personally not a stoic buddhist, so that’s where I would disagree with Lucas’ admiration of those ideas in his work. At the very least, would be disinterested in it. If an audience is discomforted with detachment valued in that way, I do think there is space left by Lucas to feel that - you just wouldn’t be a Jedi in his world.

And again, this is where I feel like it’s always discussed so binarily - as “good” and “bad” interpretations. Flawed institutions, unwieldy pedagogy, and slavish dogma, etc. can be separate case study in the work from philosophical beliefs. It’s not contradictory for Lucas to posit those things and still come out believing Jedi are good. But could they be Good in the time/space he depicted? Exploring what can go wrong with tangible incidence, is not the same as exploring what is wrong with abstract ideas. And we always keep circling back to confusion over that messiness, when the messiness is almost the point. It’s war and politics considered over serial adventure, we’ve always known that, it comes with the territory.

But beyond that, the OT has the focused thematic answers from those questions one would be looking for anyway. Luke Skywalker has friends he cares about and succeeds through the love of a son to his father. You couldn’t be a prequel Jedi, but detachment is considered with far more balance with the whole saga in mind.

That’s another area where people get really tripped up. You’re not supposed to be a Jedi in real life or live their whole philosophy in real life. 99%+ people in the Star Wars universe are not supposed to be Jedi. Anakin didn’t have to be a Jedi and he certainly didn’t have to stay a Jedi; if he really wanted to quit to be with Padme he could have. Most Catholics and Buddhists are not monks or nuns and it’s not a requirement for anyone to be.

And absolutely zero people in real life have the Force or the dark side (not just negative emotions, a supernatural power) to deal with. Jedi rules are directed at this very specific tiny, tiny fraction of the population with extremely important high level responsibilities and psychic powers that are heavily influenced by emotional state. People who voluntarily choose to live these rules.

This midwit thing where people think they’re too smart for the Jedi drives me nuts. The idea that the Jedi are just too dumb to understand that people have negative emotions sometimes and that that was the point of all this. No one told them all the pop psychology we have about “venting”!

You can and should relate to the concepts of delayed gratification, discipline, patience, endurance, inner contentment, etc. but that’s nowhere in the same league with the movies expecting you to become a monk.

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Vladius said:

NFBisms said:

In junction with what I’m saying though, it’s more like - I’m personally not a stoic buddhist, so that’s where I would disagree with Lucas’ admiration of those ideas in his work. At the very least, would be disinterested in it. If an audience is discomforted with detachment valued in that way, I do think there is space left by Lucas to feel that - you just wouldn’t be a Jedi in his world.

And again, this is where I feel like it’s always discussed so binarily - as “good” and “bad” interpretations. Flawed institutions, unwieldy pedagogy, and slavish dogma, etc. can be separate case study in the work from philosophical beliefs. It’s not contradictory for Lucas to posit those things and still come out believing Jedi are good. But could they be Good in the time/space he depicted? Exploring what can go wrong with tangible incidence, is not the same as exploring what is wrong with abstract ideas. And we always keep circling back to confusion over that messiness, when the messiness is almost the point. It’s war and politics considered over serial adventure, we’ve always known that, it comes with the territory.

But beyond that, the OT has the focused thematic answers from those questions one would be looking for anyway. Luke Skywalker has friends he cares about and succeeds through the love of a son to his father. You couldn’t be a prequel Jedi, but detachment is considered with far more balance with the whole saga in mind.

Anakin didn’t have to be a Jedi and he certainly didn’t have to stay a Jedi; if he really wanted to quit to be with Padme he could have. Most Catholics and Buddhists are not monks or nuns and it’s not a requirement for anyone to be.

In Legends (specifically, in the comic adaptation of Attack of the Clones), Anakin actually wanted to leave the Jedi Order for Padmé. However, she told him that it was his duty to protect the Galaxy and help the Republic in the war. So, Anakin wanted to leave the Order to stay with Padmé from day one, but Padmé’s pressure and his own sense of duty towards the Republic prevented him from doing that, at least until the end of the Clone Wars. Also, every time I watch the Prequel Trilogy, it always gives me the impression that Anakin wanted to leave the Jedi Order after the end of the war and the victory of the Republic. Yes, it was never clearly stated in the movies, but I’ve always taken it for granted, even before finding out that it was openly stated in the old Expanded Universe.

Anyway, I think that, even though Lucas’ opinions have to be taken into account, it doesn’t mean that you have to agree with him 100%, even when it comes to the Jedi. In fact, the Expanded Universe writers portrayed attachment as a dangerous thing that can lead to the Dark Side, just like Lucas said. But at the same time, they also explained that a Jedi can be married and have a family without being overly-attached to his partner or his family. For example, here there is a quote from Ben Skywalker:

“That’s what attachment is, isn’t it?” Ben [Skywalker] began pacing again, and words finally poured from him like water running through a shattered dam. "It’s not loving somebody. It’s not marrying somebody. It’s not having kids. It’s being where, if something goes wrong, there’s nothing left of you. It’s where, if she goes away, you start functioning like a droid with a restraining bolt installed. Mom wouldn’t want you to be this way. So why are you?”
(Legacy of the Force: Fury, by Aaron Allston)

So, you can agree with Lucas on the dangers of being overly-attached to someone, but also disagree with him on the notion that the Jedi need to be celibate in order not to be overly-attached. And I personally am of the opinion that Lucas himself would not care if you disagree with him about that. I mean, he clearly shared this same point of view before the completion of the Prequel Trilogy. In fact, he was heavily involved in the development of the New Jedi Order series, and gave the authors of the novels a lot of input on how the Force works, what means to be a Jedi, etc.

We all know that the Jedi rules are quite different in the New Jedi Order, even though the basic policy about attachment remained the same. And given that Lucas himself - at first - approved the idea of the Jedi being married in the New Jedi Order, I think that he would not blame you for thinking that the Jedi can be married and have families, even though he doesn’t share this point of view anymore. If you told Lucas: “Hey George, I agree with you about the dangers of being overly-attached to someone, but I’m of the opinion that a Jedi doesn’t necessarily have to be celibate in order to avoid that danger”, then I think that he himself would tell you something like: “Well, I think that the important thing is to be aware of the dangers of attachment. Everything else doesn’t matter”.

“Sometimes we must let go of our pride, and do what is requested to us.”
– Anakin Skywalker

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From a fun thread on r/StarWarsEU:
 

^ a screenshot of the 1997 ‘The Star Wars Trilogy Scrapbook: The Galactic Empire’

https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/The_Star_Wars_Trilogy_Scrapbook:_The_Galactic_Empire

 
 

There was also mention of the 1993 X-Wing game, and “The Farlander Papers” mission & companion book that came with it:

https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/The_Farlander_Papers
 

Mon Mothma speaks of the “decades of peace” between the end of the Clone Wars and the rise of the Empire, with Palpatine being elected President during the war, but not declaring himself Emperor and exterminating the Jedi, until much later.

Some pages relevant to the “pre-Prequels” story at the time:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All 98 pages of it can be seen here: https://archive.org/details/pdfy-52fQeoxh9CohzbEk/page/n67/mode/2up

 
 


 
 

Some pages from Mon Mothma’s “A Call To Reason” manifesto-type document used to try and attract people to the Rebellion (and part of The Farlander Papers):
 

 

 

 

 

 
 

Edit: there is more on this, and the pre-PT era lore in general, in this new thread:

Pre-PT era lore | an OT & EU scrapbook resource | additional info & sources welcome

“Don’t tell anyone… but when ‘Star Wars’ first came out, I didn’t know where it was going either. The trick is to pretend you’ve planned the whole thing out in advance. Throw in some father issues and references to other stories - let’s call them homages - and you’ve got a series.” - George Lucas

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Palpatine being a young senator post-Clone Wars does conflict a bit with the picture Zahn painted of Palps in the Thrawn trilogy, which establishes him being active in the pre-Clone Wars decades. Though this discrepancy could be rectified if Palps was already using clone bodies at this point, with him possibly posing as his own son as a cover.

“The Anarchists are right in everything; in the negation of the existing order and in the assertion that, without Authority there could not be worse violence than that of Authority under existing conditions. They are mistaken only in thinking that anarchy can be instituted by a violent revolution… There can be only one permanent revolution — a moral one: the regeneration of the inner man. How is this revolution to take place? Nobody knows how it will take place in humanity, but every man feels it clearly in himself. And yet in our world everybody thinks of changing humanity, and nobody thinks of changing himself.”

― Leo Tolstoy