i’m only one minute in and he’s already bashing everyone that doesn’t like the movie and saying that we don’t like it simply because our theories were wrong. that’s simply not true, i liked rey being a nobody, but i wish we had more information on Snoke to help bridge the 30 year gap and how we went from ‘RIP the empire’ to ‘RIP the rebels’ with a new extremely powerful emperor. we’re two movies in already and we have no idea why the galaxy is in the state it’s in, and Snoke’s “backstory” could help with that.
What what exactly was Palpatine’s backstory before the prequels? What exactly is his backstory in the prequels? That we don’t get information on Snoke is not exactly something new.
Palpatine wasn’t someone of influence until the prequels, and we got to witness him dismantle the Republic throughout the PT in great detail. With Snoke it’s sort of an afterthought. The guy undid everything our heroes fought for somehow, but that’s not considered to be of importance, apparently. It appears to me, that what mattered most is giving us a redux of the OT conflict, and the OT aesthetic with different characters.
That isn’t an accurate assessment of the galactic situation. It is clear from the setup in TFA that the Republic is not very strong and that the great Republic of old has not been recreated. So what our heroes were fighting for in the OT has never been finished. If you look at history this is what often happens. The first government formed after a revolution doesn’t last. Usually it falls and is replaced with something else until that falls and something stronger rises in its place. All we have on the First Order is they rose from the ashes of the Empire. Clearly the production is an indication that Snoke ended up in control of an old Imperial shipyard. Who Snoke is makes little difference to the overall story. That he was there at the right time and place to create the First Order is all that matters. The rest is just filler.
That he was there “at the right time” is contrived, and diminishes the entire story arc of the OT imo. The writers just pushed the reset button and pulled another “Sith Lord” out of thin air to get us right back at the start of ANH. The New Republic is a token effort, just like stating that Kylo Ren and Snoke are not Sith Lords. The New Republic is just there to be blown away, and never seen again, such that the Resistance can become the rebels, and the FO the Empire, whilst Kylo Ren and Snoke are completely indistuinguishable from their Sith counterparts. Lucas spent an entire trilogy exploring how a democracy got turned into an Empire, whilst setting up the rivalry between the Jedi and the Sith, and showing how a young Jedi turns into a Sith Lord. The ST gives us very little context, and makes very little effort to show us how and why we’re right back at square one after two trilogies of seeing an Empire rise and fall. Meanwhile Kylo Ren is just evil, because he’s a bad egg, I guess. He’s given zero motivation for turning to the dark side. Snoke had won his heart is all we get, and Luke apparently pushed him over the edge, because that’s what Jedi do, when you need another Darth Vader.
While the story works fairly well seen on its own terms, in my view it simply doesn’t flow very well from the first six films, and clearly isn’t very original, in that it recycles an awful lot from the OT both visually and narratively. The fact that so many things are left unexplained, and unexplored only reinforces this. Snoke is thus just another Emperor redux like so many other things the ST “borrowed” from the OT. This is the real issue here. By giving Snoke an original backstory, and by making him distuinguishable from the Sith Lords that proceeded him the entire events of the ST are elevated, because it adds history and context, thus allowing the Star Wars universe and mythology to grow beyond simply rehashing what Lucas and his contemporaries did better some four decades earlier.
After six films of stories and events just plunging us into another OT inspired conflict with little context to connect the dots is not going to work for many people, because they are already too invested in the universe, and the characters. Saying Snoke is used not very differently from the Emperor in the OT, is not a defense, but an admission of guilt, because it ignores the fact, that we have had fourty years of story developments, and world building since that time. If the OT’s resolution is important, then how that happy ending got unraveled is as well. To say, that it doesn’t really matter how Snoke and the FO got to undermine the New Republic, and why the New Republic allowed itself to be overrun, is to say that the OT’s resolutions aren’t very important, because another Sith Lord can be pulled from behind the curtain to undo it anyway to extend the conflict ad nauseam. By extension this also undermines the resolution of the ST, because of the precedent it creates. The next writer can just create another Sith Lord from whole cloth, create the Second Order from the ashes of its predecessors, and have Rey moping on another island, such that the next false prophet can repeat the cycle, no explanation required. The Star Wars saga has thus become the movie equivalent of the boy who cried wolf.
I was pointing out that in the pre-PT world we had virtually nothing on Palpatine. The two characters are not very similar other than a lack of background the first time they are seen. And a lot of the ST is based on what they did in the old EU/Legends. Building a new Republic was not easy and they had to content with remnants of the Empire, like Thrawn. The Disney era Star Wars movies have been getting a lot of inspiration from the Legends books, though they are not really repeating anything. Knowing what happened in Legends, though I didn’t read most of them, really puts the sequels in perspective. Where you are seeing as parallels to the original, I see more parallels to Legends. Snoke has more in common with Trawn in many respects. And Snoke and his New Order have advanced things and created new technology where Trawn was fighting with left overs. But then that is a difference between 10 and 30 years after ROTJ. But the ST was always going to be about the next generation of the Skywalker family and I suspect that Ben/Kylo is going to end up with a very unique journey. If JJ and Rian have both been working off the same arc for the characters, which seems likely, then the third act is going to make this a very different trilogy from the last two. The OT was about taking down the bad guys, the PT was about the rise of the bad guys. The ST seems to be about finding the balance again. And that feels like a GL plot line. His prophesy of the chosen one bringing balance to the force seems like the core idea of what we are aiming for now. GL always denied that the force should be like ying/yang, but what Rian did in TLJ was very much ying/yang in nature, down to the image on the floor of the cave. It seems to be the answer to Luke’s unanswered quest of how to keep students from falling to the dark side.
And as for parallels, the PT very much paralleled the OT so I don’t see the ST following suit as much of an issue.