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Shopping Maul

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12-Oct-2013
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15-Feb-2019
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239

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Post
#1269745
Topic
Open letter to Lucas in October 1980 to release Star Wars on Home Video
Time

That’s really fascinating - thank you! My first copy of Star Wars was taped off the TV (with the ads carefully spliced out) circa 1982, so I guess that makes me a pirate. Of course the minute the films became officially available (as far as I was aware anyway) in 1992 I snatched 'em up and George got his cut.

This makes me think of the anger I felt whilst watching the Star Wars 40th anniversary celebrations on Youtube. There was George banging on about ‘mythological motifs’ to great applause while no-one dared call him out on the fact that the very film they were celebrating no longer exists.

Meanwhile in the upper right corner of my Youtube feed was a SW 40th anniversary interview with Gary Kurtz that had a paltry few hits and certainly none of the fanfare of the ‘official’ celebrations. But it had ten times the heart. Had it been up to Gary, we’d all be enjoying bluray (and I daresay 4K) versions of the '77 film right now. It’s like poetry I guess…

Post
#1269477
Topic
The original Marvel Star Wars series
Time

SilverWook said:

Refresh my memory, who cancelled the book, Marvel or Lucasfilm?

I don’t actually recall - here is a great interview with Jo Duffy if you’re interested. I had a quick flick through to see if she specifies who canned the series (I haven’t listened to this in a while and my memory’s fuzzy) but from what little I gleaned it seems both parties were eager to cancel. She says they were given half an issue to wrap up the saga they’d been working on.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVU0Dz9t1kQ

Edit - at about 17.45 she says it was Marvel, not Lucasfilm who cancelled the comic!

Post
#1269435
Topic
The original Marvel Star Wars series
Time

SilverWook said:

Wasn’t there some hurt feelings over a storyline Lucasfilm ordered changes to? Or was that someone else’s plot?

I’m not sure. Jo Duffy says Lucasfilm got rather imperious after RoTJ (in terms of what characters/concepts were allowed) but, beyond the suddenness of the cancellation, I’m not aware of particular plot issues. I do know JM DeMatteis had issues with the last page of his story (the one with Cody Sun-childe) which was why he was under a pseudonym when they changed it.

Post
#1268921
Topic
What is your personal canon?
Time

DuracellEnergizer said:

  • Tales of the Jedi
  • Star Wars
  • Original Marvel Star Wars (issues 1-38)
  • Any of the Archie Goodwin & Al Williamson comic strips which don’t include/mention elements from TESB+
  • Splinter of the Mind’s Eye

Yep, I’m pretty much a SW '77 purist now.

This is pretty awesome. In your SW universe Vader and Luke’s dad are separate guys (and Obi Wan is by extension a truthful guy), Luke can still be attracted to Leia without the cringe element, and Jabba is the weird yellow guy who Han and Chewie rescued from the stone-mites on Orleon!

I can’t give up TESB (it’s my favourite film of all time alongside Conan '82) but I have total respect for your canon.

Post
#1267675
Topic
Episode IX - Discussion * <strong><em>SPOILER THREAD</em></strong> *
Time

RogueLeader said:

ShoppingMaul, and this question is open to anyone, what are ways that you would like for them to approach Rey’s character in IX that would help address the issues you’ve had with her in 7 & 8?

This is going to seem like a major copout but I honestly don’t know. The thing is, and this isn’t necessarily bad, I have absolutely no idea what’s in store for the next episode! And Rey is what she is. It would be silly to go back on what has been established (ie suddenly deciding she was Obi Wan’s niece or something equally dumb).

If you look at what speculations there were in 1980 surrounding Luke, there was so much to wonder about. Was Vader lying? Was Obi Wan lying? Would Luke turn to the Dark Side? Who was the ‘other’? It was a crazy time to be a fan.

I’m genuinely curious about ep IX but for entirely different reasons - mainly the fact that I honestly can’t imagine what’s left to be told!

By the way, to be clear, I don’t hate Rey at all and I love Daisy’s portrayal. I think all the characters are great. I just think the writing has been disappointing and an opportunity to really build on the existing lore and make something deep and significant has been squandered for mystery boxes and pretty visuals.

All I really can hope for is that ep IX ties this trilogy together in a way that gives it some weight, rather than just being a bunch of cool visuals/ideas glued together in a vaguely Star Wars way.

Sorry for the copout answer!

Post
#1267651
Topic
Episode IX - Discussion * <strong><em>SPOILER THREAD</em></strong> *
Time

RogueLeader said:

While I do think Rey is suffering from emotional costs because of her growing abilities, I also believe there is this assumption that the Force is a static, unchanging thing, despite the idea the Force has changed or is changing in this new trilogy that is different than how it was in the previous trilogies. To me, this makes it unfair to even compare the protagonists on the basis of Force powers when the Force “awakening” is a plot point in these new movies.

I guess this is where I part company with many other fans. I don’t want the Force to be ‘sentient’ any more than I find it logical for electricity or gravity to be self-aware. I’ve always considered ‘balance’ or the Force ‘awakening’ (and by extension any kind of ‘Chosen One’ schtik) to be human/Jedi constructs - a kind of anthropomorphic way for the Jedi to account for things.

I don’t mind that Rey has huge potential, or that her upbringing fast-tracked certain aspects of her growth. It makes sense for example that she’d be more of a natural survivalist than Luke ever was - hence better fighting instincts and a heightened knack for sensing peril. But the Force (or using the Force) is more complicated than that. It’s the difference between having a natural ability and being an Olympic champion, or being great at Yoga but wanting to be a Zen master. Luke though he had it all licked when he went to Dagobah. Instead he discovered that being a ‘great warrior’ had little to do with being a Jedi, and that his emotional immaturity was a huge impediment. Ditto Anakin who, despite being potentially the greatest Jedi ever on genetic grounds alone, was on a one-way trip to complete failure as a result of not mastering his deeper emotions.

In the OT and PT the Force is all about emotions and mastering one’s deeper drives and instincts, honing one’s inner-self. That’s the beauty of it and that’s what separates mastering the Force from merely being good at kick-boxing or doing a mean bench-press. In the new series it’s like the latter. Rey merely blunders along and nails it all. There’s no downside, no emotional cost (beyond her not managing to make everyone else be as wonderful as she is), no threat of this survivalist barbarian-woman becoming a Sith, no moment where her unstoppable confidence is given pause in the face of a Force that is more complex than just ticking each skill-set on a spread-sheet.

I think it’s a shame because the idea of a ‘feral Jedi’ (and all the potential dangers that could entail) is absolutely fascinating in principle. Having some Conan-girl master the more aggressive aspects of the Force under the duress of a harsh environment, only to try to apply those skills in a discipline that requires complete inner-calm/balance and emotional clarity has endless scope for expanding the saga in a profound way. Instead it feels like JJ/Rian are just throwing the skills into the pot willy nilly and letting us fill the blanks for them.

Post
#1267638
Topic
Episode IX - Discussion * <strong><em>SPOILER THREAD</em></strong> *
Time

yotsuya said:

In ANH and TESB, Luke had 1 failure using the force - lifting the X-wing. He did all the others the first time we see him try it (though not always on the first attempt, but that is the same with Rey). Luke stood his ground with Vader and several times drove him back. We didn’t really get to see the finish of Rey and Kylo’s first first fight because the breaking up of the planet separates them. The second time, they don’t actually fight, except while trying to grab the lightsaber, which breaks in two. So Rey hasn’t exactly had a string of unqualified successes. If you really watch both films, you can see her many failures. But if you are concentrating on her force use in saying she never failed, then you have to look at Luke and how he rarely ever failed either. At the end of TESB, Luke quickly goes from the horror of the revelation that Vader is his father to acceptance and then he gets a new hand and is smiling with Leia, who seems more upset than he is. At the end of TLJ, Rey, who was briefly elated by the success she and Chewy had in the air over Crait, is feeling dejected and wondering what the next step is. Luke is already executing a plan to rescue Han, but Rey has no plan. So yes, please delineate how Rey just has it so easy. I don’t see it that way and I fail to see how you can if you take into account all that we see on screen.

I don’t think doing a ‘tit for tat’ on Jedi abilities is fair for either side of the argument. The only Force ability on record (at the time of ANH) was ESP. Obi does a mind trick and senses the destruction of Alderaan. Luke learns a little ESP with the remote and then uses that technique at the film’s climax.

By this reading Rey is absolutely ‘fast-tracked’ in TFA. She gets Force visions, resists a mind-probe, does a mind trick, levitates a lightsaber, and finally defeats a veritable Sith Lord. Even in TESB Luke struggles to lift rocks and fails pretty much every test. In TLJ Rey kicks everyone’s ass (including Luke’s!) and levitates a mountainside.

That’s not the real problem here (given that the Force and associated abilities/powers evolved throughout the saga). The problem, for me and many others, is that the Force is/was depicted as having nuance and cost. Even Luke and Anakin had natural abilities - nothing like Rey’s massive portfolio but a similar principle - yet they still struggled greatly with the notion of Jedi attainment (which of course is the backbone of the saga). There were emotional and physical costs, the ever-looming threat of the Dark Side and the potential to fail and even bring more harm than good.

Rey has no struggle beyond being personally upset at some of the outcomes. Dark Side? No probs. Levitation? Got it. Kick mentor’s ass? You betcha! It’s just ‘Force on tap’ for this person.

Seriously, if Force abilities are so easily attained, shouldn’t Obi Wan have given Luke a crash course in Mind Tricks before he rushed off to deactivate the Tractor Beam?

Post
#1267128
Topic
Episode IX - Discussion * <strong><em>SPOILER THREAD</em></strong> *
Time

yotsuya said:

Shopping Maul said:
Look, the whole Force thing is as elastic as anyone wants it to be. I just think the reason so many fans are up in arms about Rey’s instant and consequence-free power levels is that the previous films greatly imply a deep and difficult learning curve with regards to the Force. Also, the OT has the Force (and Jedi) as something forgotten and elusive and even snickered at. If Force-powers really did pop up everywhere like the ST implies, surely someone like Vader wouldn’t have wielded the terrifying influence he did in TESB. Wouldn’t there be a reasonable number of Imperial officers who just happened to be pretty good at levitation or Force-choking (perhaps they saw Vader do it and learned it instantly like Rey did) that could defy Lord Vader’s many homicidal tantrums? No, Vader was the last personification of a forgotten art. It’s not like Admiral Ozzel could turn to his fellow officers and say “look, don’t worry about Vader. My kid Force-choked his teacher the other day. Anyone can do this s##t”.

Making the Force - which is/was the spiritual backbone of the series - something easily dealt with and more or less unlimited diminishes it and, by extension, Luke Skywalker’s journey.

Except that in ANH and TESB, we don’t see Luke having any real difficulty learning the force. No more than Rey does in TFA. Luke easily lifts his saber (without any lessons) and only has issues when he perceives the X-wing as too big to lift (and he did move it, just didn’t finish lifting it out). Rey does not just pick things up. She doesn’t show any force skills until Kylo tries to pull the location of BB-8 from her. Assuming that her ability with the force was there all along and just under used as with Luke and Anakin, she would be able to sense what he was doing and then she turned it back on him (not very successful at first). Then she used the mind trick on a stormtrooper and had to struggle to do it right. Not once did Rey just suddenly start doing something without Kylo teaching it to her, and rarely perfect the first time. In their lightsaber duel we see her using her extant fighting skills (as seen in the beginning of the film) and the Kylo says he can teach her that she needs to use the force. Well, thanks to him she had kind of figured that out and puts the pieces together and ends up whipping his injured ass. In TLJ when they both fight the room full of Praetorian guards, Kylo is pitted against more of them than she is. They both come out in the end, but Kylo had the tougher job. So no where does Rey just pull a force power out of her ass as Luke did in the Wampa cave and she does have a learning curve that pretty much matches Lukes the few times we see him learn something new.

So this idea that Luke had this huge learning curve to be able to actually do anything is a joke. It misrepresents the OT horribly. What is true is that Luke had doubts to overcome about just have far the force could take him (lifting an X-wing). And nowhere in the OT is it stated that the force is unique to a select few. The force is in everybody, but it only manifests itself strong enough for a few to become a Jedi. But those few can come from anywhere. The OT never gives us the lineage of any of the three people strong with the force (excluding Luke). In the PT it is implied that the Jedi find those who are strong with the force, train them, and as part of the code, they are celibate. So there is no lineage for them to continue. It is implied that Padme’s pregnancy is as bad or worse than their marriage in terms of violating the code. And when you think about what was revealed logically, the Jedi are weakening the light side by forbidding the strongest in the force from reproducing. They are so scared of the temptation of the dark side that they have walled themselves off and after a thousand generations, they are fooled and beaten by a Sith lord. Their ability to use the force had weakened. The PT is full of things the Jedi did wrong and in TLJ we have that put into words by a bitter Luke. Part of what Yoda admonished him would be to pass on what he learned of how the Jedi failed. Not to let the Jedi die, but for the new order to fix the flaws of the old.

I think that it is pretty clear that the endgame of IX is going to be the reestablishing of balance. How they do that is a mystery at the moment. But the ideas go back to ANH and Abrams and Johnson have been true to the original in every way I can see. This idea that Luke had such problems and had a steep learning curve just isn’t true to the OT. One thing I have found is that Lucas did not just use Samurai cinema as an inspiration, but actual samurai lore as inspiration. From that we can see that a young hotshot can rise up and defeat supposed great masters, but even that young hotshot will face increasing challenges and must always strive to improve. So learning to be a samurai is a never ending lesson meaning that becoming a Jedi is similarly a never ending lesson. So to get to where Yoda was literally takes a lifetime, but a young person can learn what they need to start that journey in a short time. But they need to continually seek to improve. So the long training Lucas always has talked about is true for all and never ends, but does not preclude those who start out high in skills.

Taking the fighting skills to another area, we are introduced to Rey as a fighter. She is already very far ahead of Luke in that area. As a skilled fighter, she would have already learned Ben’s first lesson - to let go your conscious self and act on instinct. That can be learned from a lot of physical activities. And when you really look at the stories of Luke, Anakin, and Rey; Rey is taking the same journey and has the same level of success as Luke. But instead of freeing the galaxy from the tyranny of Palpatine and the Sith, she is up against Kylo and the task of balancing the force. She isn’t fast tracked any more than Luke was. Both are on the Hero’s journey. I think the biggest problems OT fans are having is coming to terms with Luke, Han, and Leia being the Ben and Yoda side of this trilogy. This is the Rey, Finn, Poe trilogy like the PT was the Anakin, Padme, Obi-wan trilogy.

I strongly disagree that Rey is/was no more fastracked than Luke. TESB is entirely about Luke’s struggle and consequent failure. He goes to Yoda all guns blazing and is absolutely humbled. Rey nails everything without effort and suffers no failures at all.

For example, imagine how cool it would’ve been if Rey had lost to Kylo in TFA (perhaps he looks into her mind and, sensing something special, spares her life). This way she would have been shown that being a Jedi is about more than just kicking ass, that her rudimentary (and aggressive) survival skills pale next to the pure flow and finesse of a trained Force user. This would give her somewhere to go, much in the same way that Luke learned that being a Jedi was so much more than just fencing lessons from a ‘great warrior’.

Imagine how cool it would have been if Rey couldn’t lift the rocks in TLJ. She realises in that moment that for all her bluster about flying off and saving Kylo, she really has much to learn. When Leia lifts the rocks for her (a better Leia moment than the space-walk methinks) Rey sees firsthand that mastery will take time.

I don’t actually think Rey’s journey should necessarily reflect Luke’s. We don’t need a repeat here. As a fan I just prefer Lucas’ original ‘space yoga’ version of the Force over the PT’s ‘Chosen One/Midichlorian’ stuff and the ST’s ‘Force on tap for any Tom, Dick and Rey’ version. If the Force isn’t elusive and nuanced and largely unattainable, then it loses it’s uniqueness in the narrative.

When I was a kid I was absolutely drawn in by Luke’s struggle. What struck me so much in TESB, from an emotional standpoint, was that Luke was so alone in all this. He was a bit like Peter Parker in that respect, he had this amazing power that he really couldn’t share with anyone else, and by association a heavy burden that rested on his shoulders alone. He couldn’t exactly confide in Han or Leia with regards to this stuff. His mentors were surly and disparaging. And ultimately he failed - not just himself but the galaxy. There wasn’t an endless pool of broom-wielding Force-mutants out there for Yoda and Obi Wan to draw upon. Luke was the last hope.

The PT took away from this to an extent. Now the Force was entirely genetic and potential Jedi were assessed via a blood-test and sent to stuffy Jedi colleges. But at least Anakin had an emotional struggle, which of course he failed.

Rey just wins. She does nothing but win. She’s better than everyone - Kylo, Luke, even Yoda. That’s fine I guess. I just prefer the Force as a deep and elusive mystery rather than the frivolous fountain of super-powers it has become.

Post
#1267037
Topic
Episode IX - Discussion * <strong><em>SPOILER THREAD</em></strong> *
Time

ChainsawAsh said:

Shopping Maul said:

I know we’ve covered this in triplicate, but by this logic Ep 4 may as well have been called ‘A New Hope Among Many’. The whole point of the OT is that Luke is unique - that he’s tapping into something rare and difficult and mostly forgotten. Why else would the series be so invested in him personally? When Obi Wan solemnly declared “That boy is our last hope”, why didn’t Yoda simply say “No, any idiot will do. Let’s get that Solo guy. He seems confident”?

Or he was the last hope because of his family connection to Vader (“the other” was always meant to be his sister, too, even when that sister wasn’t Leia).

I think Obi-Wan and Yoda believed that being forced to confront his offspring would put him off balance enough to give Luke an edge. It turned out that they were right to place their trust in Luke, but not for the reason they believed - it was because Luke didn’t lose faith that his father could be saved.

It wasn’t because they simply couldn’t find someone else who was strong in the Force to train.

And if you’re going by prequel “rules,” they (or at least Obi-Wan) believed that Luke - or at least, one of Anakin’s children - was the Chosen One, rather than Anakin himself as they’d all believed before. So, by buying into the prophecy, yeah, he would’ve seen Luke as the “last hope.”

It’s hard to know where to draw those familial lines given that Vader wasn’t even Luke’s dad when Obi first posed the notion of Luke learning the Force - nor was there any ‘20 year plan’ on behalf of Obi Wan and Yoda. When the ‘other’ was initially presented in TESB, she was supposed to be someone who had been trained on the other side of the galaxy - the operative word being ‘trained’. It was only to dig himself out of a story hole that Lucas made Leia the sister and planted the idea that Skywalkers were a worthy threat to Palpatine based on heritage/genetics alone (cue Midichlorians). As far as Luke being any kind of ‘hope’ via the unanticipated (by Yoda and Obi Wan) redemption of Anakin - well I’ve made a lot of noise on these threads about how I feel Luke’s role in RoTJ was completely and utterly redundant with regard to that final battle.

Look, the whole Force thing is as elastic as anyone wants it to be. I just think the reason so many fans are up in arms about Rey’s instant and consequence-free power levels is that the previous films greatly imply a deep and difficult learning curve with regards to the Force. Also, the OT has the Force (and Jedi) as something forgotten and elusive and even snickered at. If Force-powers really did pop up everywhere like the ST implies, surely someone like Vader wouldn’t have wielded the terrifying influence he did in TESB. Wouldn’t there be a reasonable number of Imperial officers who just happened to be pretty good at levitation or Force-choking (perhaps they saw Vader do it and learned it instantly like Rey did) that could defy Lord Vader’s many homicidal tantrums? No, Vader was the last personification of a forgotten art. It’s not like Admiral Ozzel could turn to his fellow officers and say “look, don’t worry about Vader. My kid Force-choked his teacher the other day. Anyone can do this s##t”.

Making the Force - which is/was the spiritual backbone of the series - something easily dealt with and more or less unlimited diminishes it and, by extension, Luke Skywalker’s journey.

Post
#1267021
Topic
Episode IX - Discussion * <strong><em>SPOILER THREAD</em></strong> *
Time

yotsuya said:

DominicCobb said:

OutboundFlight said:

DominicCobb said:

OutboundFlight said:

DominicCobb said:

OutboundFlight said:

In the Sequels, however, we are told the force likes to balance itself out. So to balance Snoke and Kylo we have Rey. But Rey wasn’t a Jedi before. The force just randomly called to her?

This sets up an interesting message: don’t work hard. Just hope you will be lucky and suddenly become the one gifted person in the galaxy. All because someone else worked really hard on the other side and we need balance.

That’s a very strange interpretation of those films. Do you remember how TLJ ended?

All the ending shows is one boy suddenly getting force powers. We have little context how he got these powers, so while I suppose its possible he has been spending his life training to be able to use the force, it’s more likely he just randomly got powers with ease. The death of Luke called upon the broom boy (the only one we see) to take his place in the light side.

You can look at it that way, but that’s not what the film is saying though.

Interesting POV. Where exactly does the film say otherwise?

The film is saying that Luke’s actions are inspiring the whole galaxy to follow his example. The kid on Canto Bight is just a random kid, just like Rey. It’s saying anyone can use the force, whether they’re poor and oppressed or their parents were nothing or whatever. For them, their force powers are because of their own belief in themselves and their ability to be part of something greater than their circumstance would typically allow for.

Anything else about Luke dying and the force choosing someone like you said is just fan theory.

I think the point is that a powerful force user can arise from anywhere.

And there is some misconception about the Force as it is presented in the previous two trilogies. We never are shown that it is hard to learn force powers. Someone must teach. What is hard is avoiding the temptation of the dark side. What requires years of training is the perfection of the skills and learning the fine control. Luke learned to deflect blaster bolts during one short lesson on the Falcon. He figured out how to pick up his light saber with no additional training. He doubted he could lift his X-wing and Yoda showed him that it could be done (by then he had been levitating many things). The only thing we see Rey do in TFA is pick up on all the skills that Kylo Ren demonstrates or tries to use on her. This idea that she didn’t have to work for these things and Luke did is bogus. And in all three trilogies our force powerful hero can fly and fix anything, even if they have never touched one before. Anakin flies the Naboo starfighter, Luke the X-wing, Rey the Falcon (and only Rey had issues and nearly crashes). Of the three, Rey is the only one skilled in combat before we meet them. She is never shown mastering anything any faster than Luke did.

I know we’ve covered this in triplicate, but by this logic Ep 4 may as well have been called ‘A New Hope Among Many’. The whole point of the OT is that Luke is unique - that he’s tapping into something rare and difficult and mostly forgotten. Why else would the series be so invested in him personally? When Obi Wan solemnly declared “That boy is our last hope”, why didn’t Yoda simply say “No, any idiot will do. Let’s get that Solo guy. He seems confident”? Yes, the movies definitely gloss over things training-wise in order to keep it all moving, but the essence is there. If Force powers were a breeze then there’d be Sith lords all over the place Force-choking whoever they feel like until some guru comes along to inform them that that’s ‘the Dark Side’. It just doesn’t make good in-universe sense for Force-powers to be no big deal. It cheapens a major aspect of the saga.

Post
#1264586
Topic
Best Explanation Of Mary Sue Issue
Time

DominicCobb said:

Shopping Maul said:

I love what you’re saying Rogue (not that I necessarily grasp all of it of course, but I like the vibe of it!) but I would add that attaining the ‘effortlessness’ implied in the Taoist way would (ironically) require effort. Think of it in terms of being a musician. It would take hours of blisters and finger-cramps and listening and learning for a guitarist to be in that zone. No-one’s going to pick up a guitar and nail it first time just because they had their baser thoughts in check. That’s the beautiful thing about the Karate Kid - he had to wash cars and stand like an Ostrich and go through all kinds of stuff to get to that place. Kershner famously said he wanted “something powerful going on in Luke’s soul” and within the (arguably) limited framework of a SW film he achieved that. The SE feels more like bullet points - ‘we need lightsaber fights, we need a Dark Lord, we need a cantina’ etc etc. Any depth to Rey’s experience seems (to me) to being created by the fans themselves rather than by anything JJ and/or Rian are doing.

Well, to use your Karate Kid example I think the idea in the ST is that Rey has essentially spent her whole life waxing cars (whereas Luke is mostly just any old kid, wasting time with his friends between chores at home).

Yes, but the ‘waxing cars’ does not a Jedi make. It would only be an asset in the pursuit of Jedi mastery.

I think the “I don’t believe it” moment in TESB is taken way too literally. If it were a simple matter of belief, then Chewie could observe Luke in an act of levitation and emulate it on command. For me Yoda’s claim is meant to be taken in the context of the training/skill-set itself, not just a general “hey, if you believe it you can do it”.

To give a possibly clumsy example, Arnold Schwarzenegger talks about ‘self-belief’ and ‘positive affirmations’ all the time when discussing his bodybuilding career. That guy is the poster boy for conquering fear and rising above negativity (within and without) to advance his very successful career. But this is only an element in the process, not the whole story. Some fat jackass with the deluded ‘belief’ in his/her own abilities isn’t just going to become Mr Olympia because they’re convinced they will. No, there’s training and diet and discipline and technique and self-sacrifice and all that stuff with ‘belief’ as one of many components in the overall scheme.

That’s how I view Jedi training - or at least that’s the impression I got from the OT generally speaking. I know the Force is just space-magic and can do whatever the writer wants, but without a sense of being earned and/or some consequence I think the Force becomes boring and unrealistic. Even the girls in ‘Charmed’ suffer major consequences for misuse of magic or ethical naivety with regard to its use. Dr Strange has had entire comic-book arcs detailing the dangers of certain magical actions coming at a tremendous cost. And the good Dr is known to point out that anyone can use magic - they just need the will and discipline to do so. I just prefer this to giving the Force (or magic) its own agency to randomly give certain folks vast powers for no good reason.

Post
#1264483
Topic
Best Explanation Of Mary Sue Issue
Time

I love what you’re saying Rogue (not that I necessarily grasp all of it of course, but I like the vibe of it!) but I would add that attaining the ‘effortlessness’ implied in the Taoist way would (ironically) require effort. Think of it in terms of being a musician. It would take hours of blisters and finger-cramps and listening and learning for a guitarist to be in that zone. No-one’s going to pick up a guitar and nail it first time just because they had their baser thoughts in check. That’s the beautiful thing about the Karate Kid - he had to wash cars and stand like an Ostrich and go through all kinds of stuff to get to that place. Kershner famously said he wanted “something powerful going on in Luke’s soul” and within the (arguably) limited framework of a SW film he achieved that. The SE feels more like bullet points - ‘we need lightsaber fights, we need a Dark Lord, we need a cantina’ etc etc. Any depth to Rey’s experience seems (to me) to being created by the fans themselves rather than by anything JJ and/or Rian are doing.

In terms of the Force having agency and not only choosing it’s bearers but increasing its own power, I have to confess to being bound by my own fannish conservatism here. I like the Kersh version of the Force. I like the post-TESB Lucas version a lot less (Midichlorians, Chosen Ones, and the genetic lottery sit ill with me) and I’m not sure there even is a version in the ST beyond pulling the powers out to satisfy the visuals. But that said, I dig the heck out of your posts and once again have been given something to think about…

Post
#1264465
Topic
The Random <em>Star Wars</em> Pics &amp; GIFs Thread
Time

For what it’s worth I hate the ‘pando Lando’ thing too. It reminds me of David Brent in the UK Office series when he claims to have done a political reggae song in his old band called ‘Equality Street’. Brent clearly wants to be perceived as ‘progressive’ (which in itself is admirable) but his desperation is apparent and that’s what makes his stance so hilarious in the show.

Post
#1264462
Topic
Best Explanation Of Mary Sue Issue
Time

Voss Caltrez said:

Shopping Maul said:

I can’t for the life of me understand why these people didn’t think to write a story first!

That’s how it feels at times.
But couldn’t the same be said of the OT?
It feels like Lucas was making it up as he went along.
ANH: Vader and Luke’s father are clearly different people.
ESB: Lucas decides he wants a twist in the story and makes Vader Luke’s father. And just some insurance to get you hooked for the final film, he has Yoda say, “there is another.”
ROTJ: Oh crap, how do we resolve Yoda’s line? Okay how about a twin sister? And make her be Leia.

And although I think Luke was more relatable in his failings compared to Rey, couldn’t he be seen as having aspects of a Marty Stu?
Obi-Wan gives him one brief lesson on the Millennium Falcon, and suddenly he’s able to use the Force and destroy the Death Star with it?
How did he learn telekinesis at the beginning of ESB?
As a kid I always assumed that Luke went back to Dagobah to finish his training before he went to rescue Han and that’s why he was more powerful. Rewatching it, that’s not the case. He returns to finish his training after all that went down, and Yoda just tells him, “nah, you’re training is finished, you just need to kill Vader and then you’ll be a Jedi.”
I always got the impression that to become a Jedi there had to be rigorous training involved, and looking back, Luke has very little training. At least they could have written it so that Luke DID continue his training with Yoda between ESB and the beginning of ROTJ.

You’re absolutely right re Lucas making it up as he went along, but in the interest of consistency I have exactly the same beef with ROTJ. In that instance though it’s clear that Lucas was writing on the run, having not even known the first film might be a hit. So I think leeway is due on that one, even if ‘a certain point of view’ and ‘Leia’s my sister’ still make me wince to this day!

But why repeat the mistake when you know you have a trilogy planned? It just doesn’t make sense to me at all, especially given how much scrutiny is inevitable with a franchise like this one.

I don’t think Luke was a Marty Stu at all. That first lesson on the Falcon still didn’t amount to anything that might dampen Han Solo’s cynicism (“I call it luck!”). Luke was like “I did feel something…” but it was pretty vague and hardly conclusive. It’s not like he turned around and mind-tricked Chewie into handing over his wallet. And the Death Star thing was just an extension of that lesson - “do that thing I showed you earlier” - not to mention that Luke was already pretty confident with regard to two-metre targets.

By TESB it seemed clear to me (in 1980) that Luke, now fully aware of his heritage as a Jedi’s son, would have been practising as best he could in the intervening 3 years (“but I’ve learned so much!”) - and even then his levitation skills were pretty lacklustre on the Jedi scale. He got a boost under Yoda’s tutelage, managed to lift some rocks (but not an X-Wing), and of course Yoda wasn’t such a big fan of failure back then! We know the rest. He quit his training early and got his ass handed to him by Vader.

ROTJ occurred some time later, and again - given Luke’s new attitude re Vader (sheer outrage had been replaced by a calm Zen ‘must save Dad’ attitude) - it seems clear that he had honed his skills during that time. There is at least a sense of growth, of progress, and of consequence. Rey just gets everything on a platter - mind tricks, levitation, you name it, and at no cost, no Dark Side issues etc.

Of course the Force doesn’t exist, so credulity is in the eye of the viewer. For me Luke’s journey was like that of the Karate Kid. Firstly, not any Tom, Dick, or Rey can do Karate. You have to train for it. Secondly, you have to master the self, balance the forces that can sway you one way or another and thwart your quest for mastery. Without this the Force is boring. It’s just an X-Men power that lucky kids wake up with one day.

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#1264343
Topic
Best Explanation Of Mary Sue Issue
Time

DrDre said:

Shopping Maul said:

I think this is a good attempt at explaining the ‘Mary Sue’ issue - and it’s short too!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2sar9BAyvU

I agree with his assessment. I also feel there’s a clash of creative choices in the ST regarding Rey. I liked Rey in TFA. She was self-reliant, and even if I felt she was generally just a little to good at everything, Daisy Ridley gave her a vulnurability, that made her endearing. Like many people out there, I expected a good explanation for her sudden Force abilities in TLJ, and thus conditionally accepted them. Except it never came. While the whole anyone can be a Jedi/Rey is a nobody angle seems like a good idea on paper, it doesn’t mesh well with the setup in TFA imo. The darkness rises and light to meet it explanation seems contrived, underdeveloped, and a cheap shortcut in Rey’s development, such that we can focus on Luke and Kylo, and have a ROTJ like throne room confrontation in the middle chapter, which sees Rey being evenly matched with Kylo, despite the fact that she only learned about the Force a few days earlier, and Luke has taught her very little, aside from telling her the Jedi suck. The explanation for her sudden rise in power is just too thin, making Kylo seem weak by comparison, and no attempt is made to make it fit into existing canon. Like the FO’s unlimited resources, and Snoke’s ascension, it’s just pulled out of thin air, and we’re supposed to be entertained enough to ignore the undercooked nature of these story developments. It seems even the creators realized this, when they introduced the idea of Rey downloading the know how from Kylo’s mind in the novel.

I was in exactly the same boat - I liked TFA (mostly) and was eager for the explanations that were sure to come (I even found myself defending the film - and Rey - online, so sure was I that an epic story had been crafted in advance here).

Then I read somewhere that Rian had absolute free reign with the next film, and I recall how uneasy that made me feel. I was like “well, not FREE reign, I mean there’s roadmap right…?”

I can’t for the life of me understand why these people didn’t think to write a story first!

Post
#1264251
Topic
Interesting take on Anakin's &quot;redemption&quot;.
Time

Oh man, I’ve bitched about this stuff so much on these threads that I’m sure the sight of my monicker on this one will induce groans for all and sundry…

I have so many issues with the ROTJ climax (and associated ethics) that I don’t know where to begin. Luke’s role for one thing. Luke’s only goal here - his expressed goal - was to save Darth Vader (a known mass-murderer). Oh sure, he also wanted to get out of the way so as not to endanger the mission, but beyond that his motivations were entirely selfish. Ask yourself what you would do if a) you had Jedi powers and b) were alone in a room with space-Hitler and his right-hand thug while they were annihilating entire shipfuls of innocent beings with a super-laser. Would you hide under a stairwell because, after years of happily killing bad guys (including a previous Death Star) you were suddenly concerned with becoming a Zen master? Or would you knock your deadbeat Dad out of the way and do everything in your power to stop the carnage?

Secondly - Vader’s redemption and Luke’s newfound knighthood. All Vader did was save his own flesh and blood. If that really earns a sainthood after years of war and butchery then Force help us all. Not to mention the fact that Palpatine had already told both Luke and Vader that Vader was up for permanent replacement, so poor old Anakin was hardly using excessive wisdom to read between the lines.

Again, how is it ‘the Dark Side’ for Luke to rise to the defence of the entire Galaxy and kill Palpatine, yet it’s the ‘Light Side’ if Vader kills Palpatine in defence of Luke? Meanwhile…

“I am a Jedi” declares Luke proudly, completely oblivious to the fact that this has NO BEARING WHATSOEVER on the battle that’s being waged outside. Indeed, had the Death Star been blown up a couple of minutes earlier the outcome would’ve been no different. Better even, given that Luke wouldn’t survive to bring Darth-wannabe Kylo into the picture.

So yeah, I guess I agree with the video…

Post
#1264046
Topic
Best Explanation Of Mary Sue Issue
Time

RogueLeader said:

I understand you but it is just weird to me how, generally, guys seem to complain that she is a Mary Sue much more than female fans of the movies. Like I said, generally. I’m sure someone could pull up some YouTube videos of women saying she is a Mary Sue to try to refute my opinion, but even then if you were to flip it around, you would probably have more men saying she isn’t a Mary Sue than women saying she is a Mary Sue.

The Mary Sue claims just seem strangely disproportionate. Yeah, there might be more male Star Wars fan than women, but even if you were to take that into account it still seems like it would be disproportionate on average.

Like I’ve already said, that’s not saying that men who think that are sexist. I AM NOT SAYING THAT. I just think it is worth exploring why a lot of guys seem hung up on it when more female fans seem to accept/enjoy her character without this issue.

If Rey was such a badly written female character, you would think there would be a more vocal concern from the female fan communities who might want better representation, so you would assume you would hear more female fans complaining about it than male fans. But it seems like it is predominantly male fans that are the most vocal regarding this issue, does it not?

I dunno. Just curious to me. I just feel like men and women do have unconscious biases regarding the opposite sex that affect the way we perceive characters of one gender compared to the other (and by extension people in real life). It is just might not be immediately clear to us, and difficult for us to articulate.

This is such an interesting question. I’m only guessing here, but I wonder if a lot of it has to do with a large percentage of the older fanbase being male (given that Lucas was supposedly aiming the films at 12 year-old boys). I don’t have the stats obviously, but it would make sense that a long-term fanbase would be the ones most heavily invested in matters of canon and consistency. It logically follows that a new fanbase (with more females in it) would be more inclined to see the entire thing through fresh eyes and with less dogged adherence to what has gone before. Plus they (the newer female audience) might be inclined to simply enjoy the female representation in the films without being too concerned with the minutiae of Force abilities and such, while the old guard are more obsessed with what has been previously established (in their own minds as much as official canon).

I stress this is mere speculation!

Post
#1264015
Topic
Best Explanation Of Mary Sue Issue
Time

I think the difference here is the actual intentions of the filmmakers. For example if I have a problem with the Ewoks, a quick online search will show that Lucas was referencing the Vietnam war. Okay, that might not change my mind, but I can at least see where he was coming from and get a sense of the intention.

So with Rey I might be perplexed at her power levels and how that might clash with my sense of SW canon. If I hit Google what I’ll find is Kathleen Kennedy banging on about ‘strong female characters’. Ewoks as a Vietnam allegory makes sense to me. Palpatine as Nixon makes sense to me. Rey being superwoman because ‘strong female characters’ is nonsense. That’s not storytelling being inspired by politics. That’s politics subsuming storytelling.

Post
#1264003
Topic
Best Explanation Of Mary Sue Issue
Time

DominicCobb said:

Shopping Maul said:

I only hope that James Cameron made it plain that anyone who had issues with the political/social overtones in Aliens was a toxic manbaby that couldn’t handle strong motherhood figures…

That actually does sounds like something he would do… but why do assume you’re making a sarcastic comment? I’m not aware of anyone behind TLJ doing that.

I was just making a joke (however lame) about the style of conversation around movies these days. But even as I wrote it, it did occur to me that someone here would probably dig up such a quote and subvert my attempt at humour!