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What is the main Star Wars Saga about? — Page 3

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I don’t think it’s a pointless distraction at all.

But I do think once you start shifting the weight of what it’s trying to do from WHAT it’s saying, to HOW it’s saying it, you free yourself up to allowing that sort of confusion of purpose and muddy storytelling.

If your structure is no longer supporting the weight of your story, you need to change the structure accordingly. The Joseph Campbell stuff was meaningful and helpful in helping Lucas tell the “do the right thing” story. But once it became a story about BEING “Joseph Campbell Stuff,” it got waylaid.

But to clarify: I don’t think its mythological underpinnings are pointless at all - but I do think choosing to look at Star Wars solely as a myth that is mythologizing it’s own mythmaking (which is increasingly what Lucas did, in service to shifting the story’s aim from “Do the right thing” to “Forgive your dad, he loves you.”) is what inevitably leads to Star Wars being disappointing and lost.

It needs to be about more than itself. It can reference itself, it can nod to itself, and it can perpetuate its own mythmaking. But it can’t be ABOUT those things alone. Those things have to be in service to what it IS about.

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Yeah, I agree. The mythological themes help, but they shouldn’t be the only focus. Between the prequels and the sequels, I feel like the balance of mythology and social commentary is hard to strike. Only the OT has gotten it right so far.

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There is a benefit to structure in that it orients the storytelling and allows your fantastic world to still be understood, of course not every character or moment requires its ancient mythological analogue to count as a story, the movies aren’t just about strict adherence to formula, but those reference points are extremely reliable and both the OT and PT utilized them to form their arcs. The ST is more than just a collection of scenes, there are themes, but it feels more disjointed between films and (for me at least) it’s much harder to pin down the overall arc of the trilogy, harder still a unifying arc to the saga.

You could also say Star Wars is about good vs evil and leave it at that for a one-size-fits-all answer, I feel like that’s a little reductive, even to say it’s about doing the right thing still leaves the actual moral underneath, what is the right thing to do?

“The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.” - DV

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ray_afraid said:

act on instinct said:

to say it’s about doing the right thing still leaves the actual moral underneath, what is the right thing to do?

The right thing to do is the thing that benefits all instead of one. Acting selflessly for the greater good.
That’s pretty much what the phrase means.

Not to dive into moral philosophy, but it’s a bit more nuanced than that. Would you kill someone to stop the spread of a disease if you are guaranteed it won’t get to the world at large? Or would you quarantine them and risk it getting out to infect millions?

^ btw this has nothing to do with current events, just a good philosophy example.

Maul- A Star Wars Story

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I’d say either the force or Palpatine, as it begins and ends with him.

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 (Edited)

The mistakes of youth (prequels), the consequences of those actions (originals), and the sins of the father visited upon future generations (sequels).

Also family, redemption, perseverance, and hope.

(And space wizards with laser swords.)

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NFBisms said:

It’s pretty simple I’d think: Star Wars as a series is about storytelling, and the act of passing stories down. It’s rooted in a fun genre pastiche, with the original film(s) as a classic monomyth set in a storied world. The prequels then set out to deconstruct the ideals inherent in those stories from a more sociopolitical angle (The Empire rooted in capitalism, the classical masculine ideals are problematic, etc.) then the sequels tr(ied) to make sense of it all from a postmodernist perpsective: why are these stories important to us? How do you apply their lessons to real and imperfect people?

On every level, from Luke’s quest to fulfill his father’s legacy, to George’s borrowing of references, to even its cultural impact thereafter - Star Wars is about legends and how we interpret them. How the Jedi interpet their code, how Luke chooses to see his father, how Rey or Kylo see history, and their futures.

imo

How could everyone overlook this perfect post?

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The OT was about Luke’s journey. The prequel about Anakin’s Journey and the third Trilogy about Rey’s Journey.
Rey being an adopted Skywalker ties the 3 together and nothing more. A loosely connected Saga about the Skywalker/Solo family and their friends. At least its no longer the Story of Darth Vader. That in itself erased the series being from the adventures of Luke Skywalker.

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NFBisms said:

It’s pretty simple I’d think: Star Wars as a series is about storytelling, and the act of passing stories down. It’s rooted in a fun genre pastiche, with the original film(s) as a classic monomyth set in a storied world. The prequels then set out to deconstruct the ideals inherent in those stories from a more sociopolitical angle (The Empire rooted in capitalism, the classical masculine ideals are problematic, etc.) then the sequels tr(ied) to make sense of it all from a postmodernist perpsective: why are these stories important to us? How do you apply their lessons to real and imperfect people?

On every level, from Luke’s quest to fulfill his father’s legacy, to George’s borrowing of references, to even its cultural impact thereafter - Star Wars is about legends and how we interpret them. How the Jedi interpet their code, how Luke chooses to see his father, how Rey or Kylo see history, and their futures.

imo

I second the above - perfect post! Can’t believe I missed it.

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Shopping Maul said:

NFBisms said:

It’s pretty simple I’d think: Star Wars as a series is about storytelling, and the act of passing stories down. It’s rooted in a fun genre pastiche, with the original film(s) as a classic monomyth set in a storied world. The prequels then set out to deconstruct the ideals inherent in those stories from a more sociopolitical angle (The Empire rooted in capitalism, the classical masculine ideals are problematic, etc.) then the sequels tr(ied) to make sense of it all from a postmodernist perpsective: why are these stories important to us? How do you apply their lessons to real and imperfect people?

On every level, from Luke’s quest to fulfill his father’s legacy, to George’s borrowing of references, to even its cultural impact thereafter - Star Wars is about legends and how we interpret them. How the Jedi interpet their code, how Luke chooses to see his father, how Rey or Kylo see history, and their futures.

imo

I second the above - perfect post! Can’t believe I missed it.

+2

You’ve got to ask yourself one question: “Am I making Carrie Fisher’s ghost proud?”
Well, are ya, punk?

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There is no Star Wars saga. There’s the Star Wars Trilogy, and like them or not, two orbiter trilogies. Each trilogy is its own atomized story.

Death of the Author

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SparkySywer said:
There is no Star Wars saga. There’s the Star Wars Trilogy, and like them or not, two orbiter trilogies. Each trilogy is its own atomized story.

For all the faults of the prequel trilogy, I must disagree on that. GL certainly tried to tie it together thematically.

The sequels on the other hand, are rubbish in that regard.

For seventeen years the renegade Pfhor scoutship jumped between the closely packed stars of the galactic core. And all over the ship, dancing through the wreckage of the Pfhor computer core, Durandal was laughing…

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The overarching story George Lucas says is in 1-6 does not exist in the OT. The OT is way more like the first, second, and third movie in a three-part story than a fourth, fifth, and sixth in a six-part story, and ANH and ESB, the first two movies, are entirely filler in a supposed story about Anakin Skywalker. Hell, I can barely imagine the PT as taking place in the same universe as the OT. That’s not even a low the ST descends to.

The story of Star Wars begins in Episode 4 and ends in Episode 6. 1-3 are an entirely separate story that acts as a prequel to Star Wars. 7-9 are an entirely separate story that acts as a sequel to Star Wars.

Death of the Author

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 (Edited)

SW can be seen as completely detached from the other 8. It was the only one made without the ideas of the saga in place, and it shows. It really does stand alone and I can never watch it without getting the feeling that the story could well have been over at the end of it.

Lucas can say what he wants, I don’t see his 6 part saga as about “The Tragedy of Darth Vader”, but I get that, original film aside, it is a way one could see it. I’m not at all that bummed that the ST “trumped” that understanding, though. Thematically, however, I think the ST kind of falls short. It has one movie that’s a nostalgic love letter to the OT but a bit hollow once you open it (TFA), one movie that tried giving it all meaning through beautiful character studies and journeys (TLJ) and ??? (TROS), so depending on my mood, the Star Wars saga is either one movie long, three movies long, six movies long or seven movies long, with TLJ serving as an epilogue.

But then again, I think the question of the thread was already answered with great mastery by NFBisms and DominicCobb a couple pages back.

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Omni said:

SW can be seen as completely detached from the other 8. It was the only one made without the ideas of the saga in place, and it shows. It really does stand alone and I can never watch it without getting the feeling that the story could well have been over at the end of it.

Lucas can say what he wants, I don’t see his 6 part saga as about “The Tragedy of Darth Vader”, but I get that, original film aside, it is a way one could see it. I’m not at all that bummed that the ST “trumped” that understanding, though. Thematically, however, I think the ST kind of falls short. It has one movie that left something to be desired (TFA) one movie that tried giving it all meaning through beautiful character studies and journeys (TLJ) and ??? (TROS), so depending on my mood, the Star Wars saga is either one movie long, three movies long, six movies long or seven movies long, with TLJ serving as an epilogue.

But then again, I think the question of the thread was already answered with great mastery by NFBisms and DominicCobb a couple pages back.

Back when I used to marathon the PT and OT, it always felt like Eps 4 and 5 just didn’t fit. ROTJ did, for me at least, seem to be in the same universe as the PT.
So when I saw TROS (with very little in the way of expectations) I was very surprised to note that it felt like a natural successor to TESB. It was as if I’d quit Star Wars in general after 1980, ignored the movies in between, and then caved and gone to see TROS. So my head-canon goes 4,5 and 9 - ridiculous as that may sound! I have to say though, if TESB wasn’t so damn brilliant I’d be a 'Star Wars ‘77 only’ guy for sure.

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ANH has a soft ending. Everything introduced in ANH is wrapped up before the credits roll. It’s a soft enough ending, though, that ESB and RotJ can reopen it without undermining ANH.

For example, Luke’s arc in ANH is to trust in the spiritual aspect of the world over the material. It’s resolved when he relies on the Force instead of his targeting computer to destroy the Death Star. However, ESB reopens it as he starts to become a Jedi, and his arc is given a hard ending in RotJ when he beats Vader but doesn’t kill him.

But that soft ending is still there in ANH, and you can easily view ANH as the only Star Wars movie.

As another example, Breaking Bad was supposed to end with Season 4. Everything’s wrapped up and every conflict is resolved, and hell it even ends with Walt saying “It’s over. We’re safe. I won.” You could stop at Face Off and have a complete story.

But Heisenberg is still at large, Walt’s still dealing drugs, you can keep the story going from there, and they did continue the story in a fifth season. So it’s only a soft ending.

I don’t know, maybe that’s what’s going on? I’m not Shopping Maul so I can’t tell you for sure but I imagine that’s what’s going on.

Death of the Author

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Anakin Starkiller said:

You’re gonna to explain that one.

Sorry, was this directed at me? I probably didn’t explain myself very well.

I was responding to Omni and Sparky’s posts about where the saga fits thematically (and I would say tonally, logically etc etc) for some folks. Many people feel the PT doesn’t sit well with the OT, many think Star Wars should’ve stopped with the original movie, lots of people disregard the ST entirely, and some even see TLJ as a natural ‘ending’ and disregard TROS.

For me every SW film since (and including) ROTJ has been a bit of a mess in terms of fitting in naturally with ANH and TESB. TROS was the first truly immersive SW experience I’ve had since TESB in 1980 and, as a result, really feels like it exists in that universe. Since it’s basically a rip-off of ROTJ (but done better in my opinion) it fills that space in my head-canon that ROTJ once occupied in terms of wrapping things up.

Obviously this isn’t a ‘canon’ I could logically share. It’s not like I could play eps 4,5, and 9 to a stranger and have it make sense. It’s just a personal thing.

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I want to make a case that the claim that the PT and OT combined a story about the tragedy of Anakin Skywalker isn’t actually all that ridiculous. I know he isn’t a major focus in ANH and ESB, but the result of his choices ARE. You can have a story about something and still have other worthwhile arcs. Now it’s unfortunate that the PT quality really isn’t where it needs to be to have this all feel unified, but I personally think the original 6 movies can be viewed that way and I personally don’t believe it undermines the great arc of the OT in any way.

As for me. If you have to find a meaning in all of it together (including the ST). I agree with the awesome answer about storytelling.

My attempt at a non-linear edit of the Star Wars Saga: https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/Star-Wars-Saga-Redux-A-non-linear-Machete-style-edit-WIP-25-released/id/78318