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Shopping Maul

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Post
#1325816
Topic
Does Kylo really deserve to be redeemed? Did he deserve to be Reys love interest?
Time

yotsuya said:

Anger leads to the dark side. If Luke falls to the dark side, then the battle outside the Death Star is pointless. We see Luke abandon the mission on Endor because he knows Vader is going to find him. He gives himself up and is taken to the Emperor and there tries to avoid giving in to the dark side. He has a moment when his anger takes over and I believe he taps into the dark side, but then he lets it go and is not consumed. He refuses to kill. The scene on the Death Star is a chess match between Palpatine and Luke. The fate of the galaxy rests in the result. If Palpatine successfully turns Luke, all is lost. And somehow Luke hopes to turn Vader, but his primary focus is to keep them occupied while the ground teams destroys the shield and then Lando and Wedge destroy the Death Star. At the point when Palpatine should be focused on the battle, he is instead distracted by Luke and isn’t paying attention to his impending demise. Had Luke fallen to the dark side, the Rebels would have been wiped out.

So Luke’s part in the final battle is not as a bystander, but a distraction. He picks up his lightsaber and distracts with the duel until Vader makes it serious by involving Leia. Palpatine is completely focused on Luke and trying to turn him. So Luke really is a hero for his actions because he prevents Palpatine and Vader from staying involved in the battle raging outside. Palpatine doesn’t even noticed when the shield generator is destroyed. He’d rather kill Luke and ends up being killed by Vader.

If I was Luke I would explain it by saying that Palpatine had been controlling Anakin/Vader all those years and that he was the catalist that Anakin needed to free himself. That puts all the blame for Vader’s actions on Palpatine. And I think that the way Lucas wrote the PT that is what was actually going on. I think Palpatine used the force to tip Anakin to the dark side and then used the force voice on him to make him destroy the Jedi temple. Then after the duel, Palpatine used the force to keep him alive all those years. So when Vader killed Palpatine he killed himself… not just because of the damage from the force lightning.

We know that Anakin wasn’t quite so innocent and that he was teetering and about to fall, but Palpatine did not leave things to chance. Watch that scene in ROTS after Mace is dead and listen to sound effects added to Palpatine’s voice. He is not leaving it to chance but is using the dark side to manipulate Anakin and hasten his fall to the dark side. I think Anakin’s anger at Obi-wan is genuine and that he really did try to kill Padme. And in the end he thinks he did. So when the chance comes to save Luke - Padme’s son - he doesn’t hesitate or think of the cost. What caused him to fall is what ultimately causes his redemption. Luke was the cause of the fall and redemption both. With Leia, of course, but Luke was the child he knew about leading up to that final confrontation. Still, Luke could follow Obi-wan’s example and tell the story from a certain point of view. Not like there are any other witnesses to the events.

But without Luke being where he was, Palpatine’s attention would have been on the battle and he would have sensed what was going on on Endor and could have given orders to prevent the success of the Rebel’s mission. But because he was distracted by his Sith business, he ignored the battle and was destroyed. Luke didn’t destroy the shield or the Death Star, but he facilitated both by being where he was and doing what he was doing.

My issue is that the ‘Luke as distraction’ thing is something a fan would come up with to fill a plothole. It’s not something the movie ever expresses or even hints at (although it was in the novelisation). As I keep saying, I wish it had been a component of Luke’s farewell speech to Leia. All that Luke is concerned with at that point - apart from getting out of the way - is saving Vader. So I do like the theory, but I wish it was in the film.

I also have issues with the Dark Side and matters of aggression. I don’t think it would have been unethical for Luke to kill Vader and Palpatine outright from the get-go. These guys were slaughtering thousands of innocent beings. Self-defence right? At very least Luke should have had Palpatine in a headlock and forced him to order the shutdown of the DS cannon. If Han Solo had been in that throne room - or Chewie or Leia or Wedge or any Tom/Dick/Harry - they would’ve pulled a gun on those clowns immediately. They would have failed of course, but no-one would question their right to act in that way. The notion that a Jedi is automatically hamstrung by this suddenly unwavering notion of pacifism is ridiculous. When Luke destroyed the first DS - and all its inhabitants - you didn’t hear Obi Wan’s ghost-voice say “don’t shoot Luke - try to reason with them”. It was war.

I’m not with you on Anakin’s being controlled by Palpatine. My impression was that Anakin sold his soul and knew exactly what he was doing. In ROTS he clearly uses some pretty lame self-justification to make himself feel better when explaining things to Padme. In fact if I’d written ROTJ (and I’m sure everyone here is glad that I didn’t!) I would’ve had Luke come to the conclusion that there is no ‘dark side’ - just the choices we make.

But yes, the ‘Luke as distraction’ thing kind of works - I just wish it was firmly expressed in the film. It would have been awesome (IMO) if Luke had just spared Vader after the hand-chopping thing, and Palpatine had said something like “young fool, do you seek to bargain for your father’s life?”. Luke would smile and say “no, I am a Jedi - like my father before me. What I have bargained for is time.” Palpatine would suddenly realise that the DS is coming apart around him and then angrily roast Luke with lightning - prompting Vader’s reaction etc etc. Or something like that anyway…

Post
#1325564
Topic
Does Kylo really deserve to be redeemed? Did he deserve to be Reys love interest?
Time

StarkillerAG said:

Shopping Maul said:

NFBisms said:

Shopping Maul said:

Wanderer_ said:

Shopping Maul said:

Well why the hell did Vader deserve redemption?
He didn’t, we tolerated it because Vader was well written and it was easier for us to feel that his love for his son was enough to make him turn back.

At least Kylo had layers, some obvious conflict.

Mm, this is an odd one. Vader had many more layers than Kylo. Vader was always in conflict, he was a slave to the dark side. Kylo chose to be the monster he became and I honestly don’t think the movies gave us reasons for him to have let darkness grown inside of him.

But that’s not true according to the OT. Vader was a straight up bad guy in ANH - choking dudes to death, torturing princesses, killing Obi Wan (quite happily I add - “this will be a day long remembered…”), and shooting down X-Wings. In TESB he relentlessly pursues the rebels, kills his subordinates for human error, tortures Han and Leia to get Luke’s attention, and finally gives Luke a ‘join me or die’ ultimatum (“don’t make me destroy you”).

Only in ROTJ is it suggested that Vader had ‘good in him’, and that was purely because Luke (see Lucas) suddenly decided it was so.

I agree Kylo had no backstory whatsoever, but the conflict within him is/was evident from the get-go. Vader had given himself over to darkness and was pretty comfortable with it in the OT. Kylo was not so adept at evil. In fact the way way Adam Driver played Kylo was how I wish Anakin had been played in the prequels, a truly conflicted soul. That “I want to be free of this pain” moment in TFA had more raw emotion in it than all three prequels put together.

By the way I’m not against Vader’s redemption at all, in fact I thought it was a great idea. I just hate Luke’s POV. I do not understand why Luke was suddenly all gushy about Dad in ROTJ, nor do I understand why this took precedence over everything else that was going on. I’d have preferred a darker movie - one where Luke would be disillusioned with the whole Jedi thing (having been lied to by everyone concerned) and Vader’s turnaround would be a nice surprise while Luke was busy doing everything in his power to defeat Palpatine. But that’s just me. I cannot fathom why saving a war-criminal’s soul would make anyone a legend.

I mean, Luke’s primary influence from the moment he joins Ben in ANH - is his father’s legacy. He wants to learn the ways of the Force and become a Jedi like his father. From that, he essentially follows the path his dad took, right down to when he brushes with the dark side in ESB. He ignores Yoda and Ben’s warnings by rushing in to confront Vader, and save his friends.

That’s when he sees an outcome of following that quick and easy path - Darth Vader - and is faced with making different choices than his father. By ROTJ, Luke has empathy for Vader because he finds that by following his father, he is Vader. He’s more or less been where he’s been. Everything he believed about his father had to be true at one point, but then he took a wrong turn somewhere, which Luke after ESB understands now more than anyone.

It definitely has potential to be naivete, but Luke ends up being right. The idealism that it is, is what makes him a legend. The fact that you, and probably many others in the galaxy, would become disillusioned where Luke didn’t is the point. That doesn’t really say anything about how you personally would have preferred the movie to go, but that’s the theme. It makes sense and isn’t “sudden.” ROTJ just contextualizes the previous set-up. Not that it couldn’t have gone in a different direction - that who knows, I might have preferred myself - but pretty much all the heavy lifting for it is done in the prior two films.

I don’t disagree - I mean even though the OT was written on the fly, the character of Vader is fleshed out as you say ie we learn about the noble father and then discover Vader is that guy (with all that implies).

But the OT wasn’t about saving Dad, it was about Luke Skywalker being the last Jedi hope of the galaxy. And Luke did not save the galaxy. All he did was save Vader. Killing Palpatine was a lucky by-product of an entirely different quest - to save Vader. It’d be like me halting a nuclear holocaust because I just so happened to plug in my hairdryer and blow all the fuses in the bad guys’ bunker.

It feels like you’re missing the point here. Obi-Wan and Yoda wanted Luke to save the galaxy by destroying the Sith, but Luke couldn’t bring himself to kill his father. In the end, Luke’s hopefulness pays off. He puts down his weapon and sacrifices himself to Palpatine, resulting in Vader’s redemption and Palpatine’s death. It’s a subversion of the “chosen one” trope. Luke saves the galaxy not by destroying the Sith, but by saving his father.

I just don’t see it. What if Vader hadn’t turned? It’d be a bad thing to make a habit of this. Is this what they teach at Jedi school - always trust a family member no matter what? And Luke never articulates a desire to defeat Palpatine. His only expressed desire is saving Vader. I just don’t see how this is a) moral and b) worthy of legend. If anything Luke should walk away from this saying “well that was lucky but I’m not training another Jedi - they’re way too temperamental”.

People keep saying “Luke destroyed the Sith” but he didn’t. He accidentally destroyed the Sith - the same Sith who were pretty much doomed anyway because the DS was about to explode. Again, at best Luke inadvertently prevented Palpatine’s possible escape. But he can’t claim credit for it - it was just a lucky by-product of his obsession with Vader’s redemption.

I think a huge problem with ROTJ is that it dumbs down the Dark Side to a ludicrous degree. It turns the slow-burn corruption of negative emotions and lust for power into a simple “lose your temper and you’ll turn irreversibly evil” thing. Which means Luke just has to stand there while thousands of his comrades are being incinerated, or that just getting angry will somehow lead to Luke joining the Emperor. By extension this implies that Jedi are more trouble than they’re worth.

I have to agree with you on this one. The “strike me down” speech is dumb, but it’s not like TROS is any better since it features the same speech almost word for word.

I still don’t see why Luke would become a legend for giving a profoundly evil man a bedside conversion while everyone else was fighting a war.

To be fair, that’s more of a sequel trilogy thing. Nothing in ROTJ implies that Luke became a legend for redeeming his father, so that argument is invalid when used against ROTJ.

Yes but Yoda tells Luke to “pass on what he has learned” (which, as I keep arguing, is “do nothing - it’ll work out in the end”!) and Luke tells Leia that she will learn to use the Force as he has. The EU has Luke training new Jedi and the general fan vibe is, as you say, Luke destroyed the Sith and by extension should start a new Jedi Order.

Her temptation by Palpatine is real - she is literally put in the impossible position of having to accept the Dark Side as a way to save her friends, and Kylo helps her. Together they save the galaxy.

That may have been JJ’s intention, but it wasn’t conveyed well at all. Palpatine tells Rey that he wants Rey to kill him so he can possess her. Then he tells Rey that killing him will allow her to save her friends, which blatantly contradicts the thing he said right before. If Rey is possessed by Palpatine, there’s no way she’ll want to save her friends. It’s such a one-sided bargain that any sane person would have refused, and so Rey seems like an idiot for actually going along with Palpatine’s plan until Ben shows up.

Well that’s the gamble, that Palpatine will be true to his word. And the implication is that he’ll spare the rebels’ lives, but then rule them with an iron fist through Dark Rey. It’s a truly impossible situation and Rey opts for sparing their lives (before Kylo intervenes). That has so much more meat to it than “go on, get angry, that’ll make you evil”.

Because of that, Luke’s throne room scene is much better in my opinion. Luke isn’t there to kill Palpatine, and he doesn’t fall for any of Palpatine’s “strike me down” speechifying. He actually seems smart, and his intelligence pays off in the end.

Many sentient beings were ruthlessly killed while Luke stood at the DS window trying not to get mad. Many more died while Luke sat under a staircase trying not to get mad. More and more died while Luke threw aside his weapon and declared that he was now a qualified space-Yoga instructor. I fail to see how this is moral, let alone smart. Smart would have been deliberately doing everything in his power to make sure Palpatine was on the DS when it exploded. If that had been Luke’s expressed intention, the whole thing would make more sense to me.

Post
#1325544
Topic
Does Kylo really deserve to be redeemed? Did he deserve to be Reys love interest?
Time

NFBisms said:

Shopping Maul said:

Wanderer_ said:

Shopping Maul said:

Well why the hell did Vader deserve redemption?
He didn’t, we tolerated it because Vader was well written and it was easier for us to feel that his love for his son was enough to make him turn back.

At least Kylo had layers, some obvious conflict.

Mm, this is an odd one. Vader had many more layers than Kylo. Vader was always in conflict, he was a slave to the dark side. Kylo chose to be the monster he became and I honestly don’t think the movies gave us reasons for him to have let darkness grown inside of him.

But that’s not true according to the OT. Vader was a straight up bad guy in ANH - choking dudes to death, torturing princesses, killing Obi Wan (quite happily I add - “this will be a day long remembered…”), and shooting down X-Wings. In TESB he relentlessly pursues the rebels, kills his subordinates for human error, tortures Han and Leia to get Luke’s attention, and finally gives Luke a ‘join me or die’ ultimatum (“don’t make me destroy you”).

Only in ROTJ is it suggested that Vader had ‘good in him’, and that was purely because Luke (see Lucas) suddenly decided it was so.

I agree Kylo had no backstory whatsoever, but the conflict within him is/was evident from the get-go. Vader had given himself over to darkness and was pretty comfortable with it in the OT. Kylo was not so adept at evil. In fact the way way Adam Driver played Kylo was how I wish Anakin had been played in the prequels, a truly conflicted soul. That “I want to be free of this pain” moment in TFA had more raw emotion in it than all three prequels put together.

By the way I’m not against Vader’s redemption at all, in fact I thought it was a great idea. I just hate Luke’s POV. I do not understand why Luke was suddenly all gushy about Dad in ROTJ, nor do I understand why this took precedence over everything else that was going on. I’d have preferred a darker movie - one where Luke would be disillusioned with the whole Jedi thing (having been lied to by everyone concerned) and Vader’s turnaround would be a nice surprise while Luke was busy doing everything in his power to defeat Palpatine. But that’s just me. I cannot fathom why saving a war-criminal’s soul would make anyone a legend.

I mean, Luke’s primary influence from the moment he joins Ben in ANH - is his father’s legacy. He wants to learn the ways of the Force and become a Jedi like his father. From that, he essentially follows the path his dad took, right down to when he brushes with the dark side in ESB. He ignores Yoda and Ben’s warnings by rushing in to confront Vader, and save his friends.

That’s when he sees an outcome of following that quick and easy path - Darth Vader - and is faced with making different choices than his father. By ROTJ, Luke has empathy for Vader because he finds that by following his father, he is Vader. He’s more or less been where he’s been. Everything he believed about his father had to be true at one point, but then he took a wrong turn somewhere, which Luke after ESB understands now more than anyone.

It definitely has potential to be naivete, but Luke ends up being right. The idealism that it is, is what makes him a legend. The fact that you, and probably many others in the galaxy, would become disillusioned where Luke didn’t is the point. That doesn’t really say anything about how you personally would have preferred the movie to go, but that’s the theme. It makes sense and isn’t “sudden.” ROTJ just contextualizes the previous set-up. Not that it couldn’t have gone in a different direction - that who knows, I might have preferred myself - but pretty much all the heavy lifting for it is done in the prior two films.

I don’t disagree - I mean even though the OT was written on the fly, the character of Vader is fleshed out as you say ie we learn about the noble father and then discover Vader is that guy (with all that implies).

But the OT wasn’t about saving Dad, it was about Luke Skywalker being the last Jedi hope of the galaxy. And Luke did not save the galaxy. All he did was save Vader. Killing Palpatine was a lucky by-product of an entirely different quest - to save Vader. It’d be like me halting a nuclear holocaust because I just so happened to plug in my hairdryer and blow all the fuses in the bad guys’ bunker.

I think a huge problem with ROTJ is that it dumbs down the Dark Side to a ludicrous degree. It turns the slow-burn corruption of negative emotions and lust for power into a simple “lose your temper and you’ll turn irreversibly evil” thing. Which means Luke just has to stand there while thousands of his comrades are being incinerated, or that just getting angry will somehow lead to Luke joining the Emperor. By extension this implies that Jedi are more trouble than they’re worth.

I said it in a previous post (or three!) but I wish Luke’s POV had been written with an expressed desire to defeat the bad guys, if only by virtue of keeping Palpatine on the exploding DS at all costs. The redemption of Vader should have been a by-product of this quest rather than Luke’s entire MO. I still don’t see why Luke would become a legend for giving a profoundly evil man a bedside conversion while everyone else was fighting a war.

This is why I prefer TROS to ROTJ. Rey’s quest is to defeat Palpatine. Her saving Kylo is a side-issue, but it pays off beautifully in the end. Her temptation by Palpatine is real - she is literally put in the impossible position of having to accept the Dark Side as a way to save her friends, and Kylo helps her. Together they save the galaxy. That’s how ROTJ should have been. Luke should have been crucial to the outcome, not just having his own private family/religious trip while everyone else was fighting and dying outside.

Post
#1325492
Topic
Does Kylo really deserve to be redeemed? Did he deserve to be Reys love interest?
Time

Wanderer_ said:

Shopping Maul said:

Well why the hell did Vader deserve redemption?
He didn’t, we tolerated it because Vader was well written and it was easier for us to feel that his love for his son was enough to make him turn back.

At least Kylo had layers, some obvious conflict.

Mm, this is an odd one. Vader had many more layers than Kylo. Vader was always in conflict, he was a slave to the dark side. Kylo chose to be the monster he became and I honestly don’t think the movies gave us reasons for him to have let darkness grown inside of him.

But that’s not true according to the OT. Vader was a straight up bad guy in ANH - choking dudes to death, torturing princesses, killing Obi Wan (quite happily I add - “this will be a day long remembered…”), and shooting down X-Wings. In TESB he relentlessly pursues the rebels, kills his subordinates for human error, tortures Han and Leia to get Luke’s attention, and finally gives Luke a ‘join me or die’ ultimatum (“don’t make me destroy you”).

Only in ROTJ is it suggested that Vader had ‘good in him’, and that was purely because Luke (see Lucas) suddenly decided it was so.

I agree Kylo had no backstory whatsoever, but the conflict within him is/was evident from the get-go. Vader had given himself over to darkness and was pretty comfortable with it in the OT. Kylo was not so adept at evil. In fact the way way Adam Driver played Kylo was how I wish Anakin had been played in the prequels, a truly conflicted soul. That “I want to be free of this pain” moment in TFA had more raw emotion in it than all three prequels put together.

By the way I’m not against Vader’s redemption at all, in fact I thought it was a great idea. I just hate Luke’s POV. I do not understand why Luke was suddenly all gushy about Dad in ROTJ, nor do I understand why this took precedence over everything else that was going on. I’d have preferred a darker movie - one where Luke would be disillusioned with the whole Jedi thing (having been lied to by everyone concerned) and Vader’s turnaround would be a nice surprise while Luke was busy doing everything in his power to defeat Palpatine. But that’s just me. I cannot fathom why saving a war-criminal’s soul would make anyone a legend.

Post
#1325141
Topic
Star Wars (1977) - a General Random Thoughts thread
Time

I saw Star Wars in 1977 - I was 8 years old and remember it vividly.

Perhaps I remember it so starkly because I had to fight for it! I’d seen the trailer/ads on TV, all of my school friends were talking about it, and somehow I just knew this movie was for me.

So I got home from school one afternoon and my hippie stepmother said casually “we saw Star Wars today! It was great!”. I was like “uh…okay”. “Oh yeah” said Dad through a haze of marijuana smoke “it was fantastic” - and they regaled me with tales of giant spaceships passing overhead and princesses and glorious space battles…

Finally I - the target audience for this damn film - mustered the courage to enquire as to whether perhaps I might get a shot at seeing this thing.

“Alright alright” said Dad, visibly annoyed, “I’ll take you to Star Wars!”. We went some days later, but of course it felt like an eternity to me! We left in the morning but Dad (he was in the music biz) wanted to check out some recording studios that were being built. We finally arrived at the cinema at 5pm after a day of walking around empty building sites. Dad paused in front of the row of movie posters on the cinema wall. The movie was starting in five minutes and we still didn’t have tickets. I knew something was up.

“I’ve already seen Star Wars” my father moaned, “let’s see Close Encounters!”.

Cue Omen theme with me as young Damien!

No, in truth I basically begged “please, please, please can I see Star Wars!”.

The great man relented with an exasperated sigh, and I had the time of my life. It was wonderful - magical. The Force was with me.

Later Dad gave me a lecture on how I hadn’t considered that dying Stormtroopers might have had families…but that’s another story…

Post
#1324833
Topic
Does Kylo really deserve to be redeemed? Did he deserve to be Reys love interest?
Time

RogueLeader said:

I feel like many people look at Kylo and Vader through the lens of them being authoritarian dictators, when I think we should look at them through the lens of family. Fathers and sons. This isn’t a story about Adolf Hitler or a Neo-Nazi, it’s a story about your estranged father or your misguided son. Or even you, after you’ve realized you’ve made some mistakes in your life and you may have hurt people you care about. And I think the films try to send a message that it is never too late do try and do the right thing. To make amends with your loved ones.

I think you’re right, but more specifically I think this was only correct post-TESB. It’s like Lucas suddenly deciding that Leia was Luke’s sister, or that Anakin was only 45 when he died. Lucas clearly decided that it was all about the father/son thing circa ROTJ, but he just didn’t seem to acknowledge what had gone before, just like he seemed to have forgotten Luke and Leia’s flirtations in the previous films. Vader was not a sympathetic character - the first thing he did in ANH is lift a guy up by the neck and crush his larynx! I just think George got the balance wrong. It’s nice for someone, even Vader, to get a shot at redemption, but I wish the whole thing had been more nuanced from Luke’s POV.

Post
#1324742
Topic
Does Kylo really deserve to be redeemed? Did he deserve to be Reys love interest?
Time

yotsuya said:

Shopping Maul said:

Broom Kid said:

My problem with the idea of either Kylo or Vader surviving their respective redemptions is that even in a fantasy film universe as wide open as the one Star Wars occurs in - I simply don’t see a future for either character where they’re not immediately murdered as retribution for their crimes, either by the respective governments, or by mob rule. Asking audiences to accept that family members (or possible lovers) can forgive the terrible in those they hold dear is one thing. Asking the rest of that fictional universe to get in line behind them is… a lot. And really, really pushing the suspension of disbelief.

Their only real future along those lines is self-exile. Which was actually pitched in the case of Kylo, but ignored by Abrams as a possibility. Kylo communing with the Force for the rest of his life, in solitude, on Ahch-To makes sense to me. Kylo wandering the galaxy like some sort of do-gooder Ronin? I don’t see it. It’d just be wave after wave of people trying to take him out because of, you know, the whole genocidal dictator thing.

I could see self-exiling either character for literally DECADES, and then being summoned out of that exile as a last ditch “you’re our only hope” sort of hail mary for whoever the heroes of that follow-up story were. i.e. “I know of one man who could help. Maybe. But you’re not gonna like it

That’s one hell of a long game to play. But it’s probably the only real shot at a plausible “redemption/atonement” storyline for those characters. You need a ton of time and a whole lot of distance from the events of the movie they redeemed themselves in. Give them a chance to become legends/spectres, and then they finally get a chance to do the right thing for the right reaons on a large scale.

But in the case of Kylo… I just don’t see him surviving like 50,000 assassination attempts if he lived past The Rise of Skywalker. He’d have to hide out in a place where no people go for a very, very long time.

You’ve actually touched on my entire issue with the Luke/Vader conclusion in ROTJ - the very ‘mob rule’ that would have made a ‘Vader survives’ story untenable is exactly the same ‘mob rule’ that should have made Luke’s story untenable. I keep joking about banter at the Ewok party but I’m actually serious - what did Luke tell everyone about the throne room showdown? Because the truth would have had him strung on the nearest branch. People keep saying “Luke showed mercy and thus destroyed the Sith”. This is not what happened. What happened was that Luke abandoned the fight and, luckily for him, this led to Palpatine’s death. It’d be no different if Luke had left a banana peel on the step and Palpatine had accidentally broken his neck. When TFA opened with ‘Luke Skywalker has vanished’ I was like “who cares?”. What would Jedi Master Skywalker have offered that could have been remotely useful to bringing down the FO? ‘Be kind, never use your weapon, and family comes first’.

This could have been fixed (for me anyway) with a change of dialogue at the Ewok hut. Luke could have said to Leia something like “Vader can sense when I’m here, which means the Emperor is on to us. I’m going to turn myself in. Vader will take me to the Emperor himself - I have foreseen it. I’m going to make sure Emperor Palpatine never leaves the Death Star”. Leia would be understandably horrified - Luke is basically committing suicide for the cause - and Luke would insist. It would be incredibly powerful but also selfless and heroic. That would be a true hero. Vader could still have his change of heart, Luke could still spare his father’s life, but Luke’s intentions would be that of a Jedi Master - someone whose counsel one would definitely wish to seek 30 years later when the war flares up again. And Vader’s redemption would merely be a factor in the events - a very important one for the characters to be sure - but it would still be the story of Luke Skywalker destroying the Sith with Vader’s turnaround as a component of the whole - not Luke’s entire mission.

Which is why I prefer Kylo’s redemption. Kylo was redeemed because he’d never truly lost his attachment to his family and Rey saved his life. So he made serious amends - firstly by helping Rey in the final battle and then by giving his life-force to her. It doesn’t excuse his crimes, but it has infinitely more weight than Vader’s selfish “gotta save my kid” redemption IMO.

And this is exactly the kind of story Rey could tell at the after-party - “Kylo turned to the light, he helped me fight Palpatine, and then he died so that I might live”. Why is this better? Because she wouldn’t have to omit such items as “well I didn’t want to lose my temper so I held back, watched lots of people die, got angry and beat Kylo to standstill, spared him because I’m fond of him, threw my weapon away, declared myself a Jedi while you guys were all being beaten to sh*t in the space battle…”

You can describe what Luke was doing during the larger battle as keeping Vader and the Emperor distracted and focused on him rather than on the battle. Keeping them distracted kept them from using their formidable power and experience to make the battle worse. If Luke terms his actions like that he ends up being a hero and part of the battle and doesn’t have to lie about anything. Because he was keeping the Emperor occupied at a crucial moment when the Emperor’s plans were being undone. Heck, the Emperor was so focused on torturing and killing him that he didn’t even sense Vader was going to throw him over the railing and down the shaft. And in the process he redeemed his father.

You’re right, and I seem to recall the ROTJ novelisation said as much - that Luke was basically keeping the bad guys distracted so the mission could stay on point. I just wish that had been his expressed purpose in the dialogue.

Post
#1324699
Topic
Does Kylo really deserve to be redeemed? Did he deserve to be Reys love interest?
Time

Broom Kid said:

My problem with the idea of either Kylo or Vader surviving their respective redemptions is that even in a fantasy film universe as wide open as the one Star Wars occurs in - I simply don’t see a future for either character where they’re not immediately murdered as retribution for their crimes, either by the respective governments, or by mob rule. Asking audiences to accept that family members (or possible lovers) can forgive the terrible in those they hold dear is one thing. Asking the rest of that fictional universe to get in line behind them is… a lot. And really, really pushing the suspension of disbelief.

Their only real future along those lines is self-exile. Which was actually pitched in the case of Kylo, but ignored by Abrams as a possibility. Kylo communing with the Force for the rest of his life, in solitude, on Ahch-To makes sense to me. Kylo wandering the galaxy like some sort of do-gooder Ronin? I don’t see it. It’d just be wave after wave of people trying to take him out because of, you know, the whole genocidal dictator thing.

I could see self-exiling either character for literally DECADES, and then being summoned out of that exile as a last ditch “you’re our only hope” sort of hail mary for whoever the heroes of that follow-up story were. i.e. “I know of one man who could help. Maybe. But you’re not gonna like it

That’s one hell of a long game to play. But it’s probably the only real shot at a plausible “redemption/atonement” storyline for those characters. You need a ton of time and a whole lot of distance from the events of the movie they redeemed themselves in. Give them a chance to become legends/spectres, and then they finally get a chance to do the right thing for the right reaons on a large scale.

But in the case of Kylo… I just don’t see him surviving like 50,000 assassination attempts if he lived past The Rise of Skywalker. He’d have to hide out in a place where no people go for a very, very long time.

You’ve actually touched on my entire issue with the Luke/Vader conclusion in ROTJ - the very ‘mob rule’ that would have made a ‘Vader survives’ story untenable is exactly the same ‘mob rule’ that should have made Luke’s story untenable. I keep joking about banter at the Ewok party but I’m actually serious - what did Luke tell everyone about the throne room showdown? Because the truth would have had him strung on the nearest branch. People keep saying “Luke showed mercy and thus destroyed the Sith”. This is not what happened. What happened was that Luke abandoned the fight and, luckily for him, this led to Palpatine’s death. It’d be no different if Luke had left a banana peel on the step and Palpatine had accidentally broken his neck. When TFA opened with ‘Luke Skywalker has vanished’ I was like “who cares?”. What would Jedi Master Skywalker have offered that could have been remotely useful to bringing down the FO? ‘Be kind, never use your weapon, and family comes first’.

This could have been fixed (for me anyway) with a change of dialogue at the Ewok hut. Luke could have said to Leia something like “Vader can sense when I’m here, which means the Emperor is on to us. I’m going to turn myself in. Vader will take me to the Emperor himself - I have foreseen it. I’m going to make sure Emperor Palpatine never leaves the Death Star”. Leia would be understandably horrified - Luke is basically committing suicide for the cause - and Luke would insist. It would be incredibly powerful but also selfless and heroic. That would be a true hero. Vader could still have his change of heart, Luke could still spare his father’s life, but Luke’s intentions would be that of a Jedi Master - someone whose counsel one would definitely wish to seek 30 years later when the war flares up again. And Vader’s redemption would merely be a factor in the events - a very important one for the characters to be sure - but it would still be the story of Luke Skywalker destroying the Sith with Vader’s turnaround as a component of the whole - not Luke’s entire mission.

Which is why I prefer Kylo’s redemption. Kylo was redeemed because he’d never truly lost his attachment to his family and Rey saved his life. So he made serious amends - firstly by helping Rey in the final battle and then by giving his life-force to her. It doesn’t excuse his crimes, but it has infinitely more weight than Vader’s selfish “gotta save my kid” redemption IMO.

And this is exactly the kind of story Rey could tell at the after-party - “Kylo turned to the light, he helped me fight Palpatine, and then he died so that I might live”. Why is this better? Because she wouldn’t have to omit such items as “well I didn’t want to lose my temper so I held back, watched lots of people die, got angry and beat Kylo to standstill, spared him because I’m fond of him, threw my weapon away, declared myself a Jedi while you guys were all being beaten to sh*t in the space battle…”

Post
#1324553
Topic
Does Kylo really deserve to be redeemed? Did he deserve to be Reys love interest?
Time

StarkillerAG said:

Shopping Maul said:

Well why the hell did Vader deserve redemption? At least Kylo had layers, some obvious conflict. The great thing about the TROS version is that Kylo’s redemption was a by-product of what was going on. Rey was on mission (both in the DS wreckage and on Exegol) and Kylo’s turn around came about as a consequence of their interactions (and Leia’s death) - not just a matter of Rey throwing everything aside to win his heart. Luke’s entire focus on DS II was saving Vader when he should have been fighting the Sith with every last breath. The idea that Luke became some kind of legend for this is absurd to me. So I absolutely prefer Kylo’s redemption over the cockamamie “Vader was really just a nice dad and you should always support your dad” thing of ROTJ.

I’ve never seen someone who hates Vader’s redemption before, so this take seems really bizarre to me. If you don’t think Vader had any conflict in the OT, did you even watch those movies? Throughout the trilogy, Vader just seems tired of being the Emperor’s lapdog. When he finds out his son is alive, that becomes his only focus. He was already in a position to be redeemed by Luke, he just needed the push of seeing the Emperor torturing his son. So I don’t think it’s some kind of “support your abusive dad” message, and I feel like the idea that Luke should be religiously focused on fighting the Sith goes against the principles of the saga. The old Jedi were wrong because they were focused on fighting the Sith, and they couldn’t see the manipulation occurring right under their noses. Luke managed to see through the darkness and redeem his father, ending the Sith once and for all.

There was nothing pre-ROTJ to indicate Vader was a conflicted soul. This is primarily because he wasn’t - Lucas hadn’t written him to be the fallen Anakin Skywalker until very late in the process. So ignoring his actions from within the Empire let’s consider Vader from Luke’s perspective - Vader’s dogged pursuit of the DS plans led to the grisly death of Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru, he tortured Leia on the DS, he killed Obi Wan right before Luke’s eyes, he shot down Luke’s comrades during the DS battle - one of whom was Luke’s boyhood friend, he tortured Luke’s friends on Bespin just to get a rise out of Luke, he beat the crap out of Luke and offered joint custody of a new fascist Empire, and finally Luke was so horrified that he attempted suicide rather than accept Vader as his dad.

I fail to see how from this we get to Luke’s “there’s still good in him” stance of ROTJ. And don’t get me started on the ethics of remaining calm while countless innocents are being annihilated by a super-laser…

Post
#1324466
Topic
Does Kylo really deserve to be redeemed? Did he deserve to be Reys love interest?
Time

Well why the hell did Vader deserve redemption? At least Kylo had layers, some obvious conflict. The great thing about the TROS version is that Kylo’s redemption was a by-product of what was going on. Rey was on mission (both in the DS wreckage and on Exegol) and Kylo’s turn around came about as a consequence of their interactions (and Leia’s death) - not just a matter of Rey throwing everything aside to win his heart. Luke’s entire focus on DS II was saving Vader when he should have been fighting the Sith with every last breath. The idea that Luke became some kind of legend for this is absurd to me. So I absolutely prefer Kylo’s redemption over the cockamamie “Vader was really just a nice dad and you should always support your dad” thing of ROTJ.

Post
#1323643
Topic
Anyone else think Empire Strikes Back's Special Edition is actually better than the Theatrical Cut?
Time

DrDre said:

marsthgodofwar said:

The biggest change in ESB was the color grading. Where Hoth was originally white, in the SE it is blue. I am torn on the change, because I grew up with the SE color grade and I never hated it.

This is actually not true. The Hoth sequences were originally blue theatrically, but then turned white for the subsequent home video releases.

I did not know this. Is there a way to know just how blue the original sequences were? My prevailing impression is from the VHS releases circa 1992.

Post
#1321805
Topic
<strong>The Rise Of Skywalker</strong> — Official Review and Opinions Thread — * <strong>SPOILERS</strong> *
Time

yotsuya said:

Shopping Maul said:

DuracellEnergizer said:

A Mary Sue doesn’t cease to be a Mary Sue just 'cause she has ubermensch genes.

Yeah, but it helps. I guess it comes down to what one wishes to preserve most in the canon. Like I said, I hate the genetic thing and have hated it since the ridiculous Leia retcon in ROTJ. But I dislike the ‘no training required’ thing of the ST even more, because it takes away from Luke’s arc and struggles. I’d rather roll with a version of Force genetics (I find a Sith version of this at least mysterious enough to carry some weight) to justify Rey’s power levels than go with RJ’s random ‘X-Men Force powers’ thing.

Luke’s struggles are due to lack of faith and lack of concentration. Rey had heard of the Heroes of the OT. Rey knows what a Jedi can do from those stories. Then comes face to face with it in a way Luke never did (he didn’t see Vader do anything in canon until TESB during their duel and I don’t think he saw Ben do anything either). Ben gave him one lesson on the falcon and then he is able to make the shot that takes out the death star and then later is able to levitate his lightsaber before his second lesson with Yoda. Luke had doubts. Rey didn’t. Rey had belonging and abandonment issues, Luke never seemed to. He wanted to know more about his father, but he knew who he was and that was fine. Rey has plenty of struggles and failures in the films. More than Luke actually. No one powerful in the Force seems to have any problem using it once they see it used and Rey saw it used by Kylo many time. In fact, you could say that he activated the Dyad by trying to read her mind and that he basically taught her everything he knew and she just had to concentrate to draw on it. Snoke implied that he linked them, but I don’t think he realized what he was dealing with. They stayed linked after he died. So Mary Sue? Nope. She has too many flaws and failures to be one. Sure she picks up the force quickly, but that is not the only part of her character and she rarely does it right the first time.

I’m not really pushing the Mary Sue barrow so much as just dealing with my own particular head-canon regarding the Force. Midichlorians and Chosen Ones (and even the 1983 ‘Leia’s the other by blood alone’ thing) sit really uneasily with me. I’m stuck in 1980 on this point - the Force is super-hard to master. Yes, Luke’s doubts and impatience impede his progress, but I don’t see this as an absolute. For example I don’t think Luke, having witnessed Yoda’s X-Wing feat, would have immediately gone “oh, I see” and then duplicated it just because he’d seen it done. I think Yoda’s lesson was more layered than that.

So when Rey stumbles into mastery so easily (from my POV anyway) it messes with my view of the Force and how I see Luke’s journey. I think a ‘school of hard knocks’ approach to the Force is fine, but Rey’s version crosses the line for me. I don’t think JJ even cared, I think he was just like “hey, let’s have her do cool stuff and we’ll explain it later”.

Rey Palpatine is a good explanation for me. While I hate ‘Force-genetics’ in general, her being the descendant/creation of the Palpatine depicted in TROS (basically an evil sorcerer) makes it fit. It kind of justifies the notion of someone being born into power rather than having to master it - plus we’re not talking about the same kind of power Luke was struggling to attain. This is (to me anyway) a whole new twisted side of the Force that hasn’t been presented yet. So it works for me at that level and also gives Rey a depth of character I felt was previously lacking - the idea of someone brimming with a kind of ‘dark magic’ that she can barely control let alone comprehend. It’s almost a ‘reverse-Luke’ in a way and I find it interesting.

Post
#1321593
Topic
<strong>The Rise Of Skywalker</strong> — Official Review and Opinions Thread — * <strong>SPOILERS</strong> *
Time

DuracellEnergizer said:

A Mary Sue doesn’t cease to be a Mary Sue just 'cause she has ubermensch genes.

Yeah, but it helps. I guess it comes down to what one wishes to preserve most in the canon. Like I said, I hate the genetic thing and have hated it since the ridiculous Leia retcon in ROTJ. But I dislike the ‘no training required’ thing of the ST even more, because it takes away from Luke’s arc and struggles. I’d rather roll with a version of Force genetics (I find a Sith version of this at least mysterious enough to carry some weight) to justify Rey’s power levels than go with RJ’s random ‘X-Men Force powers’ thing.

Post
#1321496
Topic
<strong>The Rise Of Skywalker</strong> — Official Review and Opinions Thread — * <strong>SPOILERS</strong> *
Time

OutboundFlight said:

Am I the only one who feels Rey Palpatine is far more compelling than “Rey nobody”?

Yes, because of her power levels. I love the idea of Rey Nobody because I never truly liked the idea of Force genetics, but this simply doesn’t fit with her godlike abilities. Plus her obvious anger when she kicked Kylo’s butt in TFA made me think she was accessing the Dark Side pretty strongly. I think the Rey Palpatine stuff - especially the accidental Force Lightning bit - made great sense. Just being a Skywalker or a Kenobi wouldn’t have cut it for me, but Sith powers and descendants are such an unknown quantity in the movies (not talking EU here) so it’s a nice fit. Having Palpatine as a kind of gothic sorcerer with his Gregorian chanting acolytes really added to the vibe of this for me.

Post
#1321033
Topic
Most Disappointing Aspect of Sequel Trilogy? Most Satisfying? * <strong>TROS SPOILERS WITHIN</strong> *
Time

FreezingTNT2 said:

Shopping Maul said:

I’ve said this already but I would’ve had Mon Mothma be the new Sidious - pissed off because her unholy alliance with Palpatine in ROTJ (she killed the Bothan spies herself and passed on the false Death Star information in exchange for a seat at Palpatine’s side) was thwarted by the rebels. She would have been reconstituting the Empire in secret whilst corrupting Ben Solo with lies about his folks and glorious tales of his grandfather Anakin Vader.

And I would’ve had the New Republic using Star Destroyers and Tie fighters while the FO flies X-Wings and Y-Wings. Just to mess with the audience’s heads…

So… you’d have Mon Mothma be Force-sensitive? '😓

Sure, why not?

The reason I’m sold on this idea is that it provides a direct link to the OT without diminishing its achievements. Let’s be frank, the only possible post-ROTJ scenario is either ‘a new deadly threat’ or ‘the Empire reconstituted itself’. The ST basically reboots everything to pre-ROTJ status.

Having Mothma as Palpatine’s ally (or wife/partner) and the true source of the Bothan tapes plants a sinister seed in the heart of ROTJ without undermining it. It allows the victory to be as it was - with a New Republic flourishing as expected and Palpatine staying dead - but now there’s a valid fly in the ointment that leads logically to the ST. Mothma would be in a prime political position to not only gather allies for her revenge on the rebellion/New Republic, but she would also be perfectly positioned to bend the ear of Han and Leia’s son. In this version of the ST she would be presented as a shadowy hooded figure a la Sidious, with her true identity revealed in the 3rd film. She could even play the dual-role that Palpatine did in the prequels - liaising with Leia and co. in a fanservicey white gown whilst simultaneously being a Sith creep via hologram.

If you imagine this scenario and then watch the “many Bothans died” scene in ROTJ, it’s really dark…

Post
#1320966
Topic
Most Disappointing Aspect of Sequel Trilogy? Most Satisfying? * <strong>TROS SPOILERS WITHIN</strong> *
Time

I’ve said this already but I would’ve had Mon Mothma be the new Sidious - pissed off because her unholy alliance with Palpatine in ROTJ (she killed the Bothan spies herself and passed on the false Death Star information in exchange for a seat at Palpatine’s side) was thwarted by the rebels. She would have been reconstituting the Empire in secret whilst corrupting Ben Solo with lies about his folks and glorious tales of his grandfather Anakin Vader.

And I would’ve had the New Republic using Star Destroyers and Tie fighters while the FO flies X-Wings and Y-Wings. Just to mess with the audience’s heads…

Post
#1320767
Topic
Episode IX: The Rise Of Skywalker - Discussion * <strong><em>SPOILER THREAD</em></strong> *
Time

StarkillerAG said:

Broom Kid said:

Speaking of YouTube - I almost checked out that MauLer guy, after seeing someone on another forum I visit link to a funny back and forth on his twitter and going “oh yeah, he’s a youtuber, the Original Trilogy guys seemed to vouch for him.” So I followed the link and looked at his profile and… He basically just stalks some other YouTuber called “MovieBob” and a critic named Patrick H. Willems. That seems to be the last two straight weeks of his twitter feed, at least. I scrolled down for awhile and he’s just making fun of “MovieBob’s” weight and Willems’ intelligence and screencapping tweets by a YouTuber named Jenny Nicholson, who I guess has already blocked him. I know I got called out earlier for “judging a book by its cover” but it really seems like he’s a pretty toxic media personality, to me. Nothing but personal attacks on other people and angry tweets about people not liking things the way he wants people to like them.

Yeah, MauLer makes some good points but his personality is really grating. Half of the stuff he does is just hating on other YouTubers for having different opinions than him. The first part of his TFA review was entirely devoted to picking apart the opinions of YouTubers who liked the movie. His movie criticism videos are entertaining but I really don’t like the way he acts online.

Well the TFA intro was a response to all the people who had ripped into him for daring suggest that some things are subjective and other things are objective. I get that not everyone likes his personality, but this was about being very clear on what he was criticising and why. He was understandably sick of people responding to ‘this is a plot hole’ with ‘it’s a movie about space wizards, man’. I don’t always agree with Mauler, but I still maintain he is so much more level-headed than someone like Willems who descends into tripe like “you’re just not watching movies correctly” as a defence against cogent points of disagreement.

I can’t attest to Mauler’s Twitter feed because I don’t follow it. While his EFAP podcasts come across like a circle jerk a lot of the time, I usually find (on the rare occasions I listen to it) that Mauler is the one that cuts through the personal stuff and tries to get to the heart of the actual conversation. They (he and co-host Rags) have even had some of their most vehement critics on the show, and Mauler seems to go out of his way to be polite and stay away from the bitchy stuff and just get down to the minutiae of the discussion.

Post
#1319434
Topic
Episode IX: The Rise Of Skywalker - Discussion * <strong><em>SPOILER THREAD</em></strong> *
Time

act on instinct said:

Shopping Maul said:

somehow my ‘canon-brain’ experienced TROS as if I’d been living in seclusion for 40 years and TROS just happened to be the sequel to some amazing movies I hadn’t seen yet. This probably sounds insane!

It really doesn’t, this feeling absolutely resonates with me as well and overall I feel like each of the three movies have that quality when viewed in isolation that improves the experience more than watching the trilogy as a whole. Glad you had the experience you did! It’s refreshing to see from OT fans.

Thank you - I appreciate the feedback!

Post
#1319152
Topic
Episode IX: The Rise Of Skywalker - Discussion * <strong><em>SPOILER THREAD</em></strong> *
Time

Broom Kid said:

Again, the big problem with devoting so much time and energy to a lot of these little fiddly details in the plotting is that even if those questions were answered satisfactorily within the narrative - it still wouldn’t be a good movie, would it?

If I put together a 1000 piece puzzle perfectly, but the picture I assemble with no missing pieces is of a broken mirror reflecting a junk-strewn yard… does it matter that all these fiddly details are there and accounted for?

the only notion I want to push back a little on in this ongoing discussion is that there are somehow ironclad “Star Wars Specific” rules that got broken here, and there aren’t, really. There are plenty of storytelling and filmmaking mistakes, and the normal sorts of things that happen to make ANY movie mediocre and uninteresting to sit through, but I don’t think most of The Rise of Skywalkers’ sins are specifically Star Wars related, and I don’t think if many of these grievances had been fixed prior to release, the reception would have been markedly different.

Star Wars tends to break its own “rules” with every movie anyway, and that’s good, honestly. They’re completely made up in the first place. So long as you can cleverly break them, with satisfactorily emotional results (even if the result is as surface level as “whoa, cool!”) then breaking “Star Wars” rules isn’t a big problem at all. Nobody’s going to Star Wars movies to see its rules upheld. They’re going to Star Wars to be emotionally engaged by the story being told. And that’s not really happening with Rise of Skywalker for a fair amount of its viewers.

The weird thing for me is/was that TROS somehow took me back to a time where ‘rules’ weren’t an issue - that time being 1980 and TESB. I can’t quite explain it, it was just a bizarre visceral thing that I haven’t experienced in a SW film since then. But the lore and canon are still a tangled mess for me. My wife joked - as we left the cinema after seeing TROS for the 3rd time! - that she could imagine me watching ANH followed by TESB followed by TROS as a kind of crazy machete order. She wasn’t necessarily wrong! Every criticism levelled at the ST (and the PT for that matter) I pretty much agree with in the general sense, but somehow my ‘canon-brain’ experienced TROS as if I’d been living in seclusion for 40 years and TROS just happened to be the sequel to some amazing movies I hadn’t seen yet. This probably sounds insane! For example I just watched Mauler’s takedown of TROS and I honestly can’t fault his points, but my fanboy brain wasn’t connecting those dots at all as I watched TROS. I’m obviously aware of Rey and Poe and Holdo and everything else, but during my viewings of TROS these things became vague notions rather than 'well Rey couldn’t be this and Luke wouldn’t do that and Palpatine couldn’t be X and the Force would never Y…". I think it was Dom who said in a thread that he experiences SW films individually rather than setting them against each other in terms of canon/consistency (hope I’m not misrepresenting you Dom!) and this was the first time it happened for me without my really noticing.

I thought watching TROS again might expose the cracks, but what it really made me notice was just how much TROS resonated/resonates with me as a defacto Revenge of the Jedi. So much of TROS is what I wish ROTJ had been - the chemistry between the leads, the emotional moments and redemptions, the environments, the temptation of Rey, the horrific nature of Palpatine etc etc. So like I said to Dre earlier, my obvious bias allows for this particular rehash to get a free pass for me! Sorry about the rambling…

Post
#1319138
Topic
<strong>The Rise Of Skywalker</strong> — Official Review and Opinions Thread — * <strong>SPOILERS</strong> *
Time

RogueLeader said:

Shopping Maul said:

I absolutely see your point, but for me the spectacular (and as you say iconic) aspects of DS II were drowned out by the silliness of it. When I saw ROTJ in '83 I was disappointed by the story but absolutely wowed by the SPFX.

I may have missed earlier hints but for some reason I imagined that you were in your 20s this whole time, Maul!

No, I’m just incredibly immature! When 900 years old you reach, look as good…

I’m 51 in 2020.

Post
#1318887
Topic
<strong>The Rise Of Skywalker</strong> — Official Review and Opinions Thread — * <strong>SPOILERS</strong> *
Time

yotsuya said:

Broom Kid said:

It’s a good point that in both TFA and TROS Abrams doesn’t seem to understand the basic tension principles at play that made the climax of Star Wars and Jedi work. It wasn’t just that the weapon was destructive, and could cause destruction. It’s that the destructive weapon was pointed at people we cared about, and the heroes had to disarm and destroy the weapon before it went off in the worst way.

It’s why fan-edits that combine Starkiller firing on Hosnian Prime with the climax of the movie tend to make that film work better. The battle at the end of TFA and ESPECIALLY the battle here at the end of TROS are dramatically inert because THAT’S the difference between knocking a gun off a table and KILLING THE PERSON POINTING A GUN AT YOU.

ROTJ’s climax was a re-tread (a lot of ROTJ was a re-tread, Lucas admitted as much a couple times - it’s his ANH makeup with more money) but at least the idea of the gun being aimed (and even fired) at our heroes directly was still intact and it added stakes and tension to the proceedings. In TROS you had an entire fleet of Star Destroyers, some of which had planet-destroying guns, but there was never any goal but “Don’t let them get out.”

They should have already gotten out and the race was to stop them from being able to fire.

Now, hold on a sec. ANH and TFA share the exact same pacing of the use of the weapon (the one area I do see a clear parallel). In ANH it is test on Alderaan and then is menacing the base on Yavin IV. In TFA it is tested on the Hosnian system and then turns to D’Qar in the Ileenium system to destroy the Resistance base. So how can the battle of the First Death Star and the Battle of Starkiller Base have less dramatic tension? We see them preparing to fire in both (something added to ANH late in development). And ROTJ and TROS do the same thing. We see the weapon in action and then there is a race to destroy it. And in the case of TROS, there are many weapons ready to go out and force the surrender of all the major worlds of the Republic. The stakes are even higher and I got that. Each one of these films and every time I see it that tension is clear. If anything, ROTJ is the weakest because the Death Star is not mobile yet and any threat to other systems is more distant while the threat to the fleet is what is imminent. Each battle handles the situation in a different way. ANH requires the McGuffin plans to locate the weak point and it is a race against time with Tarkin giving the order to fire almost as Luke fires his shot. ROTJ adds the parley between Luke and Palpatine, then his duel with Vader, then his torture by Palpatine. The real drama of this version is in the throne room. Then in TFA it they don’t have secret plans, but they have a sabotage mission where Han faces his son, creating yet a different slant to the same type of battle. The X-wings don’t get their chance until Chewy blows the charges. Then in TROS, it isn’t the Death Star weapon that endangers the fleet, it is Palpatine himself. This time Rey directly stops him by taking his attention and letting the fleet finish their work. Each of these is a race against time and I found each pretty tense. Outside of ANH, the space battle is secondary to the other drama going on, but each finds its own way to build tension in the battle and tension in the parallel story. If Starkiller doesn’t destroy the Hosnian system, then how does anyone know it works? The urgency is minimized because the weapon may or may not work. But we do see the weapon work and we know the resistance base (where Leia is) will be destroyed if the raid is not successful. The part of the film that just yanks me right out is everyone on Takodana seeing the destruction of the Hosnian system. Unless they are orbiting the same star, that is so impossible that I consider it one of the two worst scenes in Star Wars (the other being C-3PO’s entire role on Geonosis). I think TFA has some serious issues but I think they can be easily fixed without altering the structure. But the battle sequence is one of the best parts of the film (along with the opening).

There is another factor that I always harp on about (it seems I’m somewhat alone in this) and that is the fact that Luke’s showdown with Vader/Palpatine was irrelevant to the battle. In fact, somewhat ironically, fans have postulated TROS-like scenarios to explain this fact away ie “oh, Palpatine was guiding the Imperial fleet through the Force”. The truth is Lucas suddenly decided that the point of the series was Anakin’s redemption rather than Luke’s being the only hope for saving the galaxy. But I seem to be one of five people on earth actually bothered by this…

In TROS the stakes were higher because Rey’s interaction with Palpatine was crucial to the outcome of the battle. Her failure would have been the Resistance’ failure as well. Better yet, her being drawn to the Dark Side made sense - she literally had no apparent recourse but to sell her soul to save her loved ones. This is what Luke should have been offered in ROTJ rather than “ha ha you got angry so you don’t get a Jedi merit badge…”