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Scruffy

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29-Nov-2005
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31-May-2016
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626

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Post
#741452
Topic
Anybody hoping to see more diplomat Leia in the new continuity?
Time

I'm not sure what a picture of a Timothy Zahn book has to do with anything. Is that part of the Disney canon now? I'm less interested in the EUs than in the primary evidence of the films. The previous EU had several brainbugs based on superficial readings of the films, and I suspect the new one will, too.

As for being a senator and having "soft skills," I think you overestimate the skill overlap, and make assumptions about the skills late Imperial Senators actually had. Leia's only apparent qualification to sit in the Senate is her royal station. Given the rather swift dissolution of the Senate, it seems none of the other senators brought anything especially vital to the Empire, either. Even if there is a significant overlap of skills, having the skills to be a diplomat does not make one a diplomat.

Looking at the movies, and not the misinterpretations of Lucasfilm Licensing, Ballantine, Del Rey, West End Games, Wizards of the Coast, or whoever hands out the writing assignments these days--is Leia a diplomat? Is she a member of the Imperial, Alderaanian, or Rebellion ministry of state? Does she officially represent one sovereign state to another? Does she overtly collect information from a foreign state? Does she provide consular services to citizens who find themselves on foreign soil? Does she claim, or exercise, diplomatic immunity?

Post
#741427
Topic
Anybody hoping to see more diplomat Leia in the new continuity?
Time

She was never a diplomat. She was the Rebellion's spy in the Imperial Senate. She traveled on a consular ship because she thought it would keep her immune from search and seizure. Her "mercy missions" were intelligence operations. After her cover was blown, the Senate was dissolved, and her planet was blown to smithereens, she became kind of useless. The military elements of the Rebellion--all humans, probably Alderaanians--kept her around, but they didn't send her out on diplomatic missions, a task for which she seems temperamentally ill-suited.

Post
#735970
Topic
Is the Hobbit prequel trilogy suffering the same problems as the Star Wars prequel Trilogy?
Time

Easterhay said:

Scruffy said:



Jackson has wrought exactly one change on the home video releases of the theatrical edition of LOTR.



I was referring to the changes made in the extended editions.

Which are not analogous to any version of the Star Wars Trilogy, for reasons already explained. In fact, they serve as an excellent counterexample or foil to the continuing Star Wars debacle. Jackson (or whoever controls these things) released the Carless Theatrical Trilogy and the EE on DVD. Then, when Blu-Ray became a thing, he released both versions of the trilogy on that. All of them were quality products, with good transfers* and a bunch of well-thought-out extras. The creators obviously saw value in both versions, and put a lot of work into giving them the treatment each deserved. If two versions of LOTR can circulate side-by-side for years, surely we could have had multiple versions of Star Wars all this time?

It's also kind of relevant that the EE really is an extended edition, not a new edition. It was produced alongside the theatrical editions. It draws from the same script, cast, crew, photography, effects work, score, locations, etc. They are all products of the same filmmaking effort; one is simply a slightly longer cut than the other. The Star Wars SEs are not so closely bound to their theatrical editions. The SEs represent a variety of viewpoints, ideas, techniques, and actors from across several decades. Older George has different ideas than younger George.** Grafting 21st century George Lucas's ideas on top of 1977 George Lucas's ideas, then taking 1977 George off the market, is a completely different prospect than Peter Jackson making two different versions of a movie for different audiences.

* though there have been complaints about a green tint to the Blu-Rays

** My own hobby horse is Luke's dilemma throughout RotJ, and his debate with Obi-Wan Kenobi. As originally envisioned, Luke was right and Kenobi was wrong. There was good in his father, and we see that the old man is good at heart when Darth Vader's aged spirit turns out to be a kindly old man. In the revision, Kenobi was right. Anakin Skywalker really had died when he became evil, and thus his redeemed ghost has the aspect of a young, not-yet-corrupted man. I think this is due to the aging auteur shifting his sympathy from the idealistic youth to the cynical senex, but I might be overthinking it. I don't think there's anything in the LOTR EE that really reverses the story told in the theatrical editions like that.

Post
#735557
Topic
Is the Hobbit prequel trilogy suffering the same problems as the Star Wars prequel Trilogy?
Time

Easterhay said:

Well, Jackson has wrought more changes on his Tolkien films in a lot less time than it took Lucas to start revising his films so there's another difference. So god only knows how many versions will exist of both LOTR and The Hobbit in, say, thirty years' time.

Jackson has wrought exactly one change on the home video releases of the theatrical edition of LOTR. He removed a car that drove through the Shire when the Hobbits were reflecting on what it meant to leave (IIRC). I am personally rather offended by this--I had written a 26-chapter fanfic loosely based on Tolkien's time-travel story in The Lost Road, which required me to construct a hypothetical intermediate language between Adunaic and Old English, all to explain the presence of a car in the Third Age. When I saw that Jackson had removed it, I deleted the whole thing in a fit of rage. But I cannot argue removing the car significantly alters the film, or that a reasonable person would want it put back. It was not an intentional element of the film, not the work of one of the many artists and artisans who contributed to the work.

(If I wanted to be annoyingly pedantic, I could point out that there were two theatrical editions of the first one or two films--the initial release, and the re-release with the teaser for the next movie. You cannot watch the re-release with an integral teaser, but the teasers are available with one or both home video versions.)

Post
#735172
Topic
Is the Hobbit prequel trilogy suffering the same problems as the Star Wars prequel Trilogy?
Time

RicOlie_2 said:

Sauruman's appearances in the movie mostly come from the Unfinished Tales, et al., if I'm not mistaken.

Jackson doesn't have the rights to Unfinished Tales. He is extrapolating the White Council stuff from LOTR. From LOTR, we know the Council met during the events of The Hobbit, and Saruman was there. We know that he finally relented to Gandalf's wish to attack Dol Guldur at this meeting, and that his secret purpose for this change in policy was to keep Sauron from searching the Anduin for the Ring.

It is a shame he couldn't get the rights to Unfinished Tales, because The Quest of Erebor is really good.

Post
#731450
Topic
If Vader had won the Mustafar duel
Time

Whether Vader won the fight or not, he was still an emotional wreck, a dark side dilettante, and a willing slave of the Emperor. His trajectory would not have changed very much. Yoda and Bail Organa would have come up with different arrangements for Luke, but that would not have changed Yoda's endgame of training him to assassinate Vader. It probably would've happened sooner, without Obi-Wan's sentimental notions of avuncular rights.

Post
#723979
Topic
What would have made the prequels better in your opinion?
Time

Whoever wrote the prequels should have taken a weekend to watch the original Star Wars trilogy, so they understood the setting, tone, characters, and the established history of the universe. I think that would have improved the prequel trilogy immensely. At best, the prequels merely cannibalize elements from the original trilogy, but present them out of place and out of order, and diminish their impact.

Post
#719654
Topic
1990s USA Network Star Wars OT Marathon
Time

I think these were my first real exposure to the movies. I had seen them before, but the USA broadcast was the first time I sat down and watched them seriously. I seem to remember they did something neat with the framing of ANH. The opening crawl and the flyover were letterboxed, then they switched to pan and scan for the reverse shot with the corvette and the Star Destroyer coming toward the camera. It made an impression on me, and I was disappointed when I got the official releases. The crawl was harder to read and the starships' reveal was poorer.

Post
#707629
Topic
If we watch them in order... ...
Time

RetroAlien said:

Doesn't make sense that Storm Troopers are clones of a bad-ass bounty hunter but are all killed easily in episode IV.

That's a bit of a non sequitur. There's no reason to believe clones of a bad-ass bounty hunter would be good soldiers, or even good bounty hunters. There are a lot of genetic components that contribute to military fitness (above average endurance, strength, stress response, intelligence), but they are not sufficient for being a good soldier. Boba Fett, while crafty, does not seem to have been an especially good close-quarters fighter.

And I don't think they are easily killed in Episode IV. I think we see three die boarding the Tantive IV, and another was shot by a concealed Princess while they were searching the ship for droids. Two were killed on the Millennium Falcon after it had already been declared safe by an officer. After that, the stormtroopers are under orders to permit the safe passage of the Rebels back to the Falcon, so we don't see their combat effectiveness. In the SE, we even see that most of the stormtroopers have been ordered to wait in a TIE hangar, so they don't interfere with the Rebels' daring escape. So there are perhaps three killed in direct combat, three killed in special circumstances, and a number sacrificed for the glory of the Empire. Not enough to draw a conclusion as to the effectiveness of a force that must number in the millions or billions, but the ones we did see were pretty competent and not easy to kill.

Post
#705169
Topic
Who should the villain(s) of the sequel trilogy be? (if the sequel trilogy has villains)
Time

<blockquote><p><strong>darklordoftech</strong> said:</p><blockquote>
<p><strong>Easterhay</strong> said:</p>
<p>What?<br /><br />By striking down Vader in anger, you're saying that those means would achieve the end of the Emperor and his empire. And I'm saying you're wrong, based on... well, take your pick, really, from various lines of dialogue throughout the films about striking out in anger and using your powers for attack, not knowledge or defence.</p>
</blockquote>
<p>Those means could fail to bring down Palpatine and the Empire, but neither would those means lead to Luke joining Palpatine. </p></blockquote><p> </p>
The Emperor was clairvoyant, and (up until the end) everything proceeded exactly as he had foreseen. If he said striking down Vader would complete Luke's journey to the Dark Side and subject him to the Emperor's will, that's what would happen. How Luke would get to that point is an interesting creative exercise, but it is not necessary to work it out to understand Return of the Jedi. A wizard did it.

(If you want to engage in that interesting creative exercise, an important thing to remember is that Luke was never really a loyal Rebel and didn't profess sophisticated or deep-seated political leanings. He joined the Rebel Alliance because his application to the (Imperial?) Academy had been delayed and because Vader's forces killed his family. He abandoned the Rebel Alliance because a ghost told him to, stealing an X-wing in the process, and went on a mystical quest to become a great warrior instead of fulfilling his duties during a time of great peril. Had he killed Vader at Endor, he would have avenged himself upon the killer of his aunt and uncle, proven himself a great warrior, attained sufficient power to (perhaps) effect reforms to the more objectionable aspects of the Imperial system, and he'd have more rank and prestige than he ever did in the Rebel Alliance. Tellingly, when Luke rejected this offer, he did so as a Jedi. That is why the Emperor had to break his adherence to the Jedi creed.)

Post
#699013
Topic
To prove a point. Please give me as many reasons and character comparisons as to why Star Wars is better than Star Trek.
Time

<blockquote><p><strong>Ryan McAvoy</strong> said:</p><blockquote>
<p><strong>FrankT</strong> said:</p>
<p>Star Wars = war</p>
<p>Star Trek = peace</p>
<p>The difference is night and day!</p>
</blockquote>
<p> Yes, which is also the reason why Nicholas Meyer's two 'Sod all this peace, let's just have submarine warfare in space' Star Trek films are the best.</p></blockquote><p> </p>
As originally conceived and executed, Star Trek envisioned a sort of constant low-intensity warfare, as great powers tested each other and fought via proxy, and various aliens attacked the Federation's "wagon train to the stars." It was the Indian Wars and the Cold Wars combined. The films were a departure from this. They did away with the colonial aspect, except as a (totally justified) symptom of Klingon paranoia, and presented a more sanitized version of the Cold War. There was never any open warfare in Nicholas Meyer's films; the closest we got was some rogue officers firing at the other side during a peace conference. Combat was presented as something exceptional, not as the fairly routine occurrence it was in The Original Series.

The later TV series and movies are a mixed bag. The episodic series typically take place during peacetime, but DS9 is mostly set during or around a major war. Half the TNG movies take place during this war, but ignore it, and the last movie features a Romulan attack on the Federation, albeit during a short-lived coup that represents a major departure from Romulan policy.

Of course, the difference between peace and war is not night and day, it's shades of gray existing on a few different dimensions (legal authorities, international relations, scale and duration of combat, etc.). You can conduct a lot of lethal operations without being at war, and you can be at war and have no combat at all. It depends on your point of view.

Post
#694683
Topic
We all know that stand-alone Star Wars movies are a done deal (Like it or not) so what do you want to see???
Time

House of Sabacc Cards. Trace Bail Organa's rise to power as he ruthlessly takes out the Alderaanian opposition, institutes a phony policy of pacifism while funding a galactic terrorist alliance, and cultivates a completely false public image through such manipulative tactics as adopting orphan children. That might almost get me interested in Star Wars again.

Post
#671705
Topic
Can Episode VII ignore the prequels?
Time

<blockquote><p><strong>Reegar</strong> said:</p><p>I checked out Dark Empire since Bingowings and I talked about it in the TFU2 thread.</p>
<p>The art is awesome. Hypnotic, even.</p>
<p>But I walked from the story feeling like it was pretty pointless. I was disappointed we never actually saw a dark side Luke (hey, if that's the hook, which it was, <em>stick with it</em>). Instead all he does is stand among some Imperials and glare at people, all the while sabotaging Palpatine's plans while Palpatine is fully aware of the sabotage and happy for it.</p>
<p> </p></blockquote><p> </p>
Dark Side Luke would have been another Vader. What we saw was more interesting--an inchoate Dark Side Luke. Someone in the process, but not quite there yet. Veitch was exploring how Vader might have fallen, by showing us Luke's stepwise descent and the rationalizations he makes along the way. It also parallels another one of Veitch's characters, Ulic Qel-Droma from Tales of the Jedi. (It's like poetry, it rhymes.) But where Ulic killed his brother to protect his power, Luke, knowing the price of that power from his father's example, repents and rejoins his sister in the light.

I don't think Luke's climactic turn would have been believable with a fully Dark Side devoted Luke. Veitch chose to explore how a zealous Darksider could come back to the light side with Kam Solusar. Though his full story was never published, it involved years of solitude and lingering guilt even after he reintegrated with society--not something Veitch could do to Luke.

Post
#614629
Topic
In Defense of Death Star II
Time

Bingowings said:

Building more Death Stars makes sense....

Two Death Stars would have been better but a whole cluster of the buggers would have been better still....

A number of Death Stars is almost a requirement for a galactic empire. A single Death Star, in the hands of an ambitious leader, would have been enough to usurp Palpatine's rule. Several Death Stars, in the hands of rivals, provides some stability for the Emperor. Even if his rule weakened over time, the multiplicity of Death Stars would guarantee mutual assured destruction should the factions ever engage in open civil warfare, so the status quo would remain mostly intact.

Technical means might have given the Emperor sufficient control over a single Death Star to mitigate the threat of an ambitious commander. The superlaser could have been made dependent on emergency action messages from Coruscant, cryptographically secure codes stored in Palpatine's "nuclear football," so it could never be used without his permission. Or the superlaser could have been designed to fail after a single discharge, ensuring the potential usurper would only get to use it once before facing the inevitable counterstrike. (You come at the Emperor, you best not miss.) This would also have forced the Empire to be more deliberative and circumspect in choosing its targets, so the idea probably would have been a nonstarter for the trigger-happy Tarkin.

The Death Star II doesn't need a defense. The lack of Death Stars III-X does. Why did they stop at two? Given the speed and secrecy with which the Death Stars were constructed (or one of them, if you consider the prequels canon), it cannot have been for lack of construction capacity. Was Palpatine limited to only what he could do in secret? Was he concerned that open construction of Death Stars would have inflamed public sentiment against him? Did public opinion turn against him and superweaponry after Alderaan? Endless speculation is possible, but endless writing is not, so I'll stop here.

Post
#604110
Topic
Disney Acquires LucasFilm for $4.05 billion, Episode 7 in 2015, 8 and 9 to Follow, New Film Every 2-3 Years
Time

Alexrd said:

For those who care about the future of LucasArts:

Disney CEO Robert Iger briefly discussed Disney's plans for game development using the intellectual properties acquired in the acquisition, saying, "We're likely to focus more on social and mobile than we are on console. We'll look opportunistically at console, most likely in licensing rather than publishing, but we think that given the nature of these characters and how well known they are, and the storytelling, that they lend themselves quite nicely, as they've already demonstrated to the other platforms."

Well, it was nice while it lasted.

Yes, because when I think of games with strong characters and storytelling, I think of social and mobile games. Zynga is doing things with character realization and narrative construction that are simply impossible on the traditional platforms.

As for the lede: yawn. I used to care so much about Star Wars, I am not kidding, it occupied so much of my mind. The fictional universe, especially, but also the art, the craftsmanship, real life personalities and doings. But now I just can't muster the energy. I hope future generations get "their" Star Wars, and it is worthy of their love and respect, and maybe some of them will even find what some of us increasingly inaccurately call "the" Star Wars Trilogy. I don't think I will ever get that old feeling back, though, no matter who owns the franchise.

Post
#538842
Topic
Okay, who actually HATES the Prequels
Time

In practice, I just ignore them. I saw The Phantom Menace the day it opened, and I saw The Phantom Edit a few years later. Other than that, I have no interaction with it. I caught the other two movies a few times on TV so I'm more familiar with them; each one has a few charms, but not enough for me to seek it out or purchase it.

In theory, I simply hate them. They were terrible disappointments. They were terrible movies. Almost everything about them grates. They appropriated concepts from the original trilogy and misused them. They polluted the Star Wars expanded universe and fanbase. They even infected the original trilogy with Hayden and Naboo. They are vampires, mockeries of the original forms that pervert everything they touch.

I'll let you decide whether practice or theory is more important.

Post
#535563
Topic
Star Wars coming to Blu Ray (UPDATE: August 30 2011, No! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!)
Time

brash_stryker said:

A more apt comparison would be the original pubication of The Hobbit. Once Tolkien wrote Lord of the Rings, he realised that the Gollum scene undermined what Smeagol was all about in the saga, so he 'revisited' it, altering the scene so that Bilbo escapes Gollum under different circumstances.

Of course, it's not a great comparison, really, because that was a change the fans could live with, and actually improved upon the characterisations and forming a cohesive whole with the other books. The changes in these Blu Ray don't do anything but undermine existing emotional tones and piss people off.

You can still read the emended material in The Annotated Hobbit. The original material is reproduced there perfectly, letter-for-letter. A Tolkien fan editor could use this to reproduce the text of the Hobbit with no guess-work, substitution, or insertions from inferior copies. You can also find a first edition of The Hobbit with a little work, which of course perfectly preserves the original text and art. If it's printed on good paper and stored properly, the original Hobbit will survive for centuries, in the most successful and accessible format in history. It is in no danger of being lost or obsoleted.

Star Wars is in a slightly different place. A perfect reproduction would have to be struck from pre-Special Edition film elements. We don't have access to those. We do have home video versions, but they all have well-known defects, or at least shortcomings. We can't say with much confidence that Star Wars will be perfectly preserved for centuries to come. Reconstructions of it? Sure. Low-res official copies? Maybe. A perfect witness to the original? I don't know.

Post
#479578
Topic
PT vs OT Scientific Study
Time

Diego said:

And like a lot of other things in the prequels, he's only there so we can have yet another lightsaber fight, cause you know, having three fights in a movie is not enough, you need four or it gets boring.

I fell asleep during Obi-Wan's fight with Grievous.

I used to stay up all night watching the trilogy or playing the games. Then I fell asleep in the middle of the day watching a brand new Star Wars movie. That's when I knew all the fire had gone out of the relationship and we were never getting it back.

Fortunately, my brief nap left me refreshed for lightsaber fights #3 and 4.

None of this is really scientific of course. We could set up cameras to watch people's eyes while viewing the movies to track their attentiveness, or draw blood for stress hormones and endorphins after key scenes. We could also use EKGs, EEGs, plethysmographs, etc. to monitor physical arousal. Familiarity or recall can be measured by simple surveys, distributed at random to a large enough population. Advertisers and anti-advertising advocacy groups frequently use such surveys to measure mascot familiarity among children.

Post
#464678
Topic
&quot;The Hutts are gangsters!&quot;
Time

They are breaking Republic law when they contract with Republic nationals to smuggle spice through Republic territory (which I freely admit is a bit of a retrojection from Jabba's later relationship with Han Solo). And without recognition by the Republic, they cannot be regarded as a legitimate government by any official arm of the Republic government or its constituent elements. It is unlikely even the Tatooine populace considered Jabba their government. He seems to provide no services, no infrastructure, and does not hold a monopoly on the legitimate use of force--posse comitatus and tribal warfare seem common, police unheard of. I'd call him a warlord, but his crew doesn't seem to engage in any kind of warfare. Gangster is apt.

Post
#464142
Topic
Do you have a favourite stormtrooper?
Time

 Dear God. I tried to out-ridiculous the EU and failed. Who would have guessed that "Look Sir, Droids" was in fact the only man in the Empire who noticed that AT-ATs could be tripped by cables, and his career was sandbagged because of it.

This story has been widely misinterpreted by people who think that totalitarian militaries reward Western values like creativity. Felth wasn't the only person who knew of this vulnerability. It's pretty clear Veers knew, too--and probably everyone else--but he didn't want his vehicle commanders making up doctrine on the spot. The Empire would rather lose AT-ATs or suffer mission failures than push new training out across the force. And they'd rather not have free-thinkers in command of their vehicles, lest said free-thinkers break with the party lines in other ways. As Davin Felth eventually did.

I'm not sure how this is any more ridiculous than space wizards with laser swords, and a lot of it would ring true here, in the real world. Many militaries place doctrine above creative thinking, especially among the other ranks and junior officers. I myself saw a fairly important capability wasted in part because no one was taking advice from line personnel, and higher and supported commands were getting bad information about this capability. In a totalitarian dictatorship, I might have suffered Felth's fate.

Post
#463265
Topic
Do you have a favourite stormtrooper?
Time

I like Davin Felth. According to the EU, he was in the stormtrooper armor corps until he started publicizing weaknesses in the AT-AT and got reassigned to the infantry. I kind of sympathize with his conundrum. You don't want to tell a superior officer that his multi-million dollar system is rendered useless by poor doctrine which said officer probably spent years studying or preaching, but if you don't you're putting your unit and your mission at risk. He's also the "look sir, droids," guy.

TK-421 is also pretty cool.