Oh man, I love Saxsquatch!
I had always wondered if Anakin’s fall should have been more ideologically driven rather than simply being born out of fear of loss. When Vader makes his offer to Luke in ESB, he says his line about how “With our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy.” That made me think of how Anakin, through his desire for order and control, would have been drawn to an authoritarian figure like Palpatine. Maybe you could have Anakin feel like he and his mother were deserted by the Republic and its unwillingness to assert greater authority over the outlying systems. The galaxy is a wild place with many lawless corners. You could have Anakin becoming frustrated with the Jedi and their more passive approach to galactic affairs. Maybe he wants them to exert control, to save the people of the galaxy from themselves and end the chaos around them. Which would be why he’d turn towards Palpatine as a mentor figure and political ally. He grows to see the Republic as a failing system that ought to be replaced with something that can better control its people for their own wellbeing.
This is something that’s sort of implied in certain scenes in AotC and RotS (i.e. “I don’t think the system works.”), but not nearly enough, in my opinion. I thought there was a lot of potential in that.
Having rewatched the Prequel Trilogy, I’ve come to agree with Harmy that The Phantom Menace is the most well made of the three. People favor RotS because it has the big emotional moments and payoffs, but TPM is a better crafted film. I think the PT as a whole is actually quite decent, despite being a clear step down.
Also, Palpatine is the best character in the Prequels, especially in TPM. I would’ve loved to have gotten a whole film, Star Wars or not, of Ian McDiarmid as a scheming politician rising to power (sort of like what we got a glimpse of in the Darth Plagueis book).
I think a lot of OT fans in particular view RotJ as the point when the franchise started to tip in a direction they didn’t like, with George apparently exerting a greater degree of creative control and leaving less room for collaboration. Some say that it marked the beginning of George “selling out.” Often, people back this up with comments from Gary Kurtz or Lawrence Kasdan, who were both clearly unhappy with the direction taken in the story, wanting a more downer ending that challenged the audience. George wanted a more clear-cut happy ending, of course, and I think that was the right call in the long run.
These days, I think people gravitate toward criticizing RotJ because out of the three films, it’s the one that’s generally regarded as having the most issues to pick on. It’s the “low-hanging fruit” of the OT that’s used to show that the trilogy isn’t perfect. I personally think most of the issues people point to are fairly surface-level stuff that doesn’t really damage the movie as a whole. A second Death Star makes sense in-universe. Han surviving was the right choice, though I wish he had gotten more to do as a character. Vader seeming out of character is consistent with his conflicted state of mind from the very end of ESB onward.
My main criticism of the film would be that the pacing drags on Endor at times. Besides that, I think it’s great.
This promises to be the definitive cut of Star Wars. This will be the true apotheosis of George Lucas’ vision.
George should have made a Sequel Trilogy in the late 80s/90s, before he made the Prequels.
There should be more giant monsters in the Star Wars universe.
Modern Star Wars aesthetic has gone too far into bleak/grimdark territory, especially in content closer to the OT era (Solo, Fallen Order, Mandalorian, etc.). One thing I did like about the Sequel Trilogy, especially TFA, was how vibrant and colorful it was, rather than just grey and washed out. Also, Lucasfilm shouldn’t be too afraid of showing nicer looking, more developed planets like Coruscant. Not every planet needs to look run down.
Star Wars should place more emphasis on nonhuman main characters.
A few months ago a Mauler fan gave their definition of a bad movie, that being any movie where over 60% of the runtime has problems. Obviously this is ridiculous, 60% is a really random-ass number to pull, and how you would even measure this is beyond me. But I think it kind of says a lot about what that style of criticism is trying to prove.
Whoever this fan is, they did a poor job of explaining what Mauler’s critique videos are actually aiming for. It’s not about some arbitrary threshold where a movie becomes bad if it has a certain number of bad things. It’s about determining whether a film is able to maintain logical consistency alongside its emotional payoffs.
There’s this misconception among some people that the struggle in filmmaking to balance emotional moments with logical plot/character progression is a zero sum game. That in order for a film to have its powerful scenes or payoffs that touch the audience on an emotional level, the film’s internal logic is worth being compromised or disregarded. These same people also often believe that a film which maintains internal logic and airtight writing will necessarily be more “boring” or less emotionally impactful than a film that sometimes gives up on logic for the sake of making an emotional scene happen.
This is a problem with a lot of modern filmmaking. Writers and directors come up with certain scenes or moments that they really want to put in the film to leave a strong impression on the audience, then they work backwards through the story to make those moments occur. The priorities are backwards here. Those emotional moments and payoffs need to be earned, and they need to make sense in context, both in the individual film and in the larger series (if there is one). Otherwise, their intended impact is diminished for anyone who notices the lapses in logic.
That’s what Mauler is looking out for. To see if those payoffs are earned or set up correctly, and whether or not the story’s logic is compromised for the sake of the scene. It’s not about the quantity of issues. It’s about whether those issues majorly interfere with or undermine what the film is trying to convey to the audience.
R2-D2 has been around much longer than any character knows. He’s passed from owner to owner, witnessing key events of galactic history and storing a chronicle of them in his memory banks, for many, many years. Over that time, he’s come to view that as his true primary function. Inconsistencies in the lore are a result of faults in R2’s ancient memory system. The Holiday Special is so trippy because R2’s memory was glitching at the time.
screams in the void said:
Wow , this guy is really ballsy , compiles a bunch of audio clips that are freely available elsewhere on youtube and tries to pass it off as an authentic 1980 radio special , with himself as the interviewer …https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gfcq3p0-WjA I called him out in the comments , be interesting to see if he replies .
I went and checked. He’s edited the description, adding a disclaimer that it’s him acting as the narrator and that it’s a cobbled together recreation.
I don’t think Nerdonymous was trying to hate on fan preservations. I think he was just pointing out how some fans tend to try to discredit George’s original contributions to the OT rather than merely criticizing his poor creative decisions later in life (the Special Editions and the Prequels). Some fans have tried using George’s poor decisions from 1997 onward as proof that he was always incompetent and that the OT was never truly his accomplishment. I think Nerdonymous did a poor job of articulating that, but I’m pretty sure that’s what he meant. He wasn’t bashing Harmy or anything.
I do agree, though, that this video has a lot of filler and feels rather mean-spirited and vitriolic at times. And him accusing Paul Hirsch of being a liar is in very poor taste.
Also, this “every frame a pause” style of critique is terrible and I despise Mauler and his cronies for making it popular.
What’s wrong with critiquing with a fine tooth comb? I’d rather watch someone who was overly detail focused than someone who overgeneralized.
Okay, I have a confession to make. I’ve watched Nerdonymous’ other videos, but I hadn’t actually gotten around to finishing this one yet. From what you’re describing, Sparky, I have to agree that it sounds pretty bad. It sounds more like he’s just lashing out against the anti-George Lucas sentiment rather than actually offering a coherent counterpoint to the video. I must admit I’m disappointed in this guy.
Also, I didn’t know about him bashing fan preservations of the OT. That’s pretty messed up, and has sadly become a more common sentiment among some Lucas fans. I withdraw my recommendation of this channel.
Length and quality do not correlate at all.
I’m aware. I’ve just encountered the issue before where people dismiss a video as bad simply on the basis that it’s long. I’m sure no one here has that mindset. It’s just one I’ve seen often.
There’s a lot of pro-PT pro-Lucas content (“content”) on Youtube that fits the second category.
Are you talking about someone like Rick Worley or Mauler? Rick Worley’s videos are much more overtly pro-PT and I think they’re well made, though I disagree with a lot of his opinions. Mauler doesn’t really talk about Lucas or the PT much, and I do think he sometimes loses focus in his longer critique videos, but all in all, they’re also well made.
There’s plenty of long-winded, pretentious videos about Star Wars, but they’re far from exclusively devoted to defending the Prequels.
Jeez why are all the pro-Lucas and pro-prequel videos like 2 hours long or more
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. They’re being thorough. It’s much easier to make a 10-minute shallow clickbait video than something lengthy and well-researched. It takes a lot of time and effort to put together a video like this one. I respect that. And since they put in so much time making it, I have no problem taking an hour or two to enjoy watching it.
I’ve too often heard people use a video’s length as an excuse not to watch it, while also condemning the video at the same time despite not having seen it.
Another thing I’ve realized from the OT is how much art is defined by its limitations. The OT was plagued by production struggles and technical shortcomings, yet those issues are part of what shaped the OT into the revered films they are today. We’ve grown up and become aware of all the seams and visual imperfections, but that only leads us to appreciate what the filmmakers accomplished even more. That’s why I think the Special Editions were always a fool’s errand, because you can’t turn back time and undo those limitations. The limitations are baked into the films. They shaped the films by forcing the filmmakers to adapt to them. It’s only natural that George was dissatisfied with the final products. Any creator in his position is bound to be.
I think some people were so shocked at the disparity between the OT and the PT that they tried to justify it by concocting the false idea that George was never a good filmmaker, when the reality is far more complicated. A film is a combined product of many different creatives all working in tandem, and the production process is influenced by the workplace culture.
Nerdonymous is a great channel that really deserves more recognition. He’s only done a few videos, but they’re very well researched. I’d highly recommend them.
Edit: Never mind.
I used to buy into the narrative that George Lucas was incompetent and that Star Wars was only ever good in spite of him. I see now how wrong that is. Ever since the Plinkett reviews, there’s been this trend in the fandom of downplaying George’s importance to the Original Trilogy, and while the OT was still very much a collaborative effort, George was a large part of that collaboration. He wasn’t the bumbling fool Plinkett made him out to be.
It’s weird how TLJ kept toying with the idea of Kylo being redeemed, only to arrive at the same conclusion that TFA did. Kylo was offered every chance at redemption. Vader at least had the excuse that he was under Palpatine’s thumb, and that he thought he had lost everything and had nothing to live for beyond vengeance and serving the Emperor. By the end of TLJ, Kylo was very much his own man driven by his own agency. Despite the movie’s teasing the idea of redemption and romance, TLJ’s ending seemed to go out of its way to close the door on him ever turning good, and put Kylo into a scenario where he simply didn’t want to turn away from his path. He freely chose damnation rather than being tricked or forced into it, making him have much more in common with Palpatine than with Vader.
I thought his arc was poorly executed, and that he wasn’t a strong enough, intimidating enough villain to carry the role by himself for a whole film, but I appreciate the concept they were going for.
Hal 9000 said:
Unklar Plutt slams down KFC-branded foot rations.
I love the idea of just editing tone-deaf product placement into dramatic scenes.
It is kind of odd how the reveal of Anakin’s midichlorian count comes before we even learn what midichlorians are. Then, after they’re explained in detail by Qui-Gon, they’re not brought up again for the rest of the movie or the next movie. It feels like they went through all this effort to have Qui-Gon explain the concept because George really wanted it in the movie. It seems like one of those ideas that should have been left on the cutting room floor, but George was really attached to the concept and insisted it be spelled out for the audience.
If murdering a member of your family means you shouldn’t get to be redeemed then Anakin/Vader shouldn’t have been. He murdered his very pregnant wife by strangling her with the dark side of the force.
Anakin/Vader didn’t kill Padme. If he had killed her, or Luke, or Leia, especially if they were trying to help him back to the Light, then yes, that would have been the end of any potential redemption. That’s why Vader thought he was beyond redemption, because Sidious told him he killed her.
Kylo was offered a clear cut choice by the man who raised him and loved him. There was nothing forcing Kylo to stay on the Dark Side, but he chose it anyway. Unless he was secretly playing double agent and this was all part of some bigger plan, then that was it. He had made his choice.
Then he made the same choice again in TLJ, after Snoke was dead and he had no reason to stay beyond personal ambition.
Okay, back to unpopular opinions:
Kylo shouldn’t have been redeemed. If Kylo was going to have an arc that was a reverse of Vader’s arc in the OT, like JJ Abrams said he would have, then Kylo should have started out TFA as a weak and struggling POV character we’re made to empathize with. He could have been someone who was fighting for the wrong side, but was held back from being truly evil by his attachment to his family and the good he still had in his heart. Then, by the end of TFA, he would have solidified his alignment with the Dark Side (which is what him killing his father was likely supposed to do), and instead of becoming unraveled over the course of the trilogy until he suddenly turned good at the eleventh hour, he gradually progresses his way to becoming a truly formidable main villain of the story, entirely consumed by the Dark Side. This also would have made him a great foil for Finn. Both were raised in opposing environments, one in a place of privilege and the other a faceless drone, both filled with doubt and a lack of clear identity, and both would ultimately find their place in the world on the opposite sides of where they started. Finn embracing the Light, and Kylo embracing the Dark. (Kylo murdering Han really should have put an end to the question of “will he or won’t he?” as far as redemption was concerned. Since he rejected the offer of redemption from his own family, then that should have been the end of it.)
Either that, or they could have just gone with the idea of Kylo being a double agent trying to get close to Snoke/Palpatine so he could kill him, finishing what Anakin started. That would have worked, too.
Anakin Starkiller said:
Even if you set the theatrical versions aside in their own timeline, that’s still three versions that are in Legends.
Hey, Ender! Welcome back. Glad to see you here again.
Well, the 2004 and 2011 versions are very similar. The 97 versions are kind of the oddball, since they precede the prequels, but they were basically superceded by the DVD versions, since most of the 2004 changes were to establish consistency with the PT.
Jar Jar Bricks said:
Replace the TIE scene on Pasaana with the following:
With the goal, of course, of making her less of a Mary Sue.
“Well, darn.” -Kylo Ren
I love how you can see her lightsaber flying out of her hand when she does the flip.
TFA: Inherited Force powers are unambiguously confirmed, doubly so considering Rey’s retcon.
The TFA novelization also strongly implied that Rey was able to “download” Kylo’s knowledge of the Force during his attempt to mind probe her. Or at least that it “awakened” her Force proficiency.
Tatooine, though materially insignificant, is “sacred” within the Force.
Anakin’s last thoughts as he smiled at Luke were of how much Luke reminded him of Padme.
Each version of the OT exists in an alternate timeline from each other. The theatrical versions are in their own canon, with any pre-1997 EU content optionally included. The 2004 and 2011 versions exist in the same canon as the prequels and all of the EU. The 2019 versions are in the Disney canon.