Added Criterion versions of Dekalog, Scenes from a Marriage, Babette’s Feast, Inside Llewyn Davis, and Naked.
I think you’re giving JJ too much credit in suggesting that the decision was driven by anything but an inability to construct these movies without world-ending threats. If he were in charge of Episode 8, I’m certain we would have gotten Death Stars four movies in a row.
Oh, I agree completely actually. I do think that overall the story of The Force Awakens was structured in a way to make it aligned with the Original Trilogy after one watches the Prequels due to the backlash they got at the time.
“This will begin to make things right” is clearly directed at them.
The Sequels aren’t so much Sequels but responses to the criticisms of the Prequels. Ironically it failed miserably as there’s barely anything new and connective to them that makes it feel like a nine part saga. Only really The Last Jedi comes close to bridging the gap in a meaningful way, while misunderstanding important context in other aspects with things such as Rey being a Nobody. The Rise of Skywalker just doesn’t understand context at all and just added things because it fits a meme or whatever it’s trying to say.
I’ve been thinking about it and more and more I think that The Force Awakens was designed in part for those who decide to watch the series IV-VI first and then I-III. It’s the only logical reason why there’s back to back stories with another Death Star as it wouldn’t be quite as jarring as it would be if you watch them in sequence order. That and nostalgia but that’s another can of worms.
Luke, Han and Leia didn’t fail
Yes, they did.
She is the daughter Luke never had.
No, she’s not. TRoS tries to pretend like Luke and Rey had a positive, familial relationship, but they didn’t. Not at all.
As for the fall of the Republic, Palpatine had been working behind the scenes for decades to allow corruption to seep into the Republic. For the most part, that decay didn’t just happen on its own. It was largely initiated by Palpatine and other hidden malefactors. We were shown a galaxy in TPM where the well-intentioned but flawed good guys were in charge and struggling to keep under control an increasingly volatile galaxy. We see the steps of the Republic’s fall into authoritarianism. It’s not perfectly told, but the transition is more or less earned. We witness the tragedy as it takes place.
In the sequel trilogy, most of the tragedy takes place either off-screen or in throwaway sequences. There is no sense of a logical progression from the end of RotJ to the beginning of the TFA. The titular “return of the Jedi” failed to take place, and we had essentially another Jedi Purge occur off-screen. The Empire, instead of being at all diminished, is now comically overpowered. The New Republic is tossed away never to be seen again, partly for shock value, partly because JJ Abrams no doubt thought that having an established Republic be the galaxy’s status quo would be too “Prequelish.” So he threw that out and the New Jedi Order with no buildup or groundwork whatsoever. Thus turning Star Wars from a story of hope after tragedy into a depressing cycle where the failures of the past are forever doomed to repeat “just because”, and forcing the OT heroes to witness everything they worked for crumble within their lifetimes.
Han abandons Leia after the betrayal of their son, and regresses back to being a smuggler under the nose of the regime he helped found. Luke abandons his friends and family and leaves the galaxy to rot at the hands of the Dark Side because he somehow blames the Jedi for his own personal failings. Leia is forced out of the government she had devoted her life to restoring, with her family abandoning her and her son fighting for the Empire. Meanwhile, she finds herself exactly where she started, as a leader of a small guerrilla rebel force, her life having completely stagnated and the struggle to which she had devoted herself being made 30 years longer and mostly fruitless all for the sake of doing a soft reboot in the seventh chapter of a story.
That’s awful. What’s enjoyable about that?
Nailed it! Everything I’ve been trying to say is right here.
I’d argue though that we see the seeds of an increasingly volatile galaxy throughout The Phantom Menace. You see it through the actions of characters such as Nute Gunray and Watto. Nute Gunray acting through fear and Watto acting out of greed. Even Sebulba I think shows pride with his desire to cheat in the podrace. It’s the little seeded nuances that I think make up the collective whole of what society was becoming. Every little action has a cause and effect. You see it throughout the story too. Qui-Gon helps Jar Jar and Jar Jar in turn helps Padme and thus brings the Naboo and Gungans together. Anakin helps too for that matter. It’s a movie about people helping people with the final example being Obi-Wan beginning to train Anakin. The crux of the whole saga.
I’d even say Attack of the Clones has some great subtly too. Especially when it comes to Courscant becoming more commercial and Padme being relieved they didn’t try amending the constitution to allow her to continue serving as queen. This is contrasted by Palpatine staying in office long after his term has expired.
Unrelated a tad but I also like how Dooku is referred to as a “political idealist” while the Clone War later is referred to as an “idealistic crusade”.
The Prequels have lots of subtle layers that are very easy to miss but they’re there. They really expand the scope and scale of the plot. In my opinion they’re executed much better than they’re given credit for.
I do think too that a very important aspect to Star Wars is not repeating the sins of past generations. Luke not making the same mistakes as Anakin is the most obvious. However there’s little things like the Rebel Alliance and Separatist being very similar to each other but under different circumstances and ideals. The problem the Sequel Trilogy falls into is what you highlighted though, we’ve seen these things before exactly as they were. Every generation goes through the same problems more or less but the moments do differ in some way. Just like in real life.
Luke could fail to restore the Jedi Order at first but we need to see it happen and then for him to properly rebuild it throughout the trilogy to fulfill what he was set up to do.
Leia shouldn’t have to be a rag tag Rebel leader again but a senator like her mother before her that rises to the occasion and becomes Supreme Chancellor.
Han doesn’t have to go back to smuggling again after overcoming that part of his life but he could be a respected general in the New Republic.
None of these things have to undermine a new generation of characters. They can easily happen interchangeably and it leads all the way back to The Phantom Menace being a story about people helping people. Star Wars was always about the collective whole and not just one individual. Anakin may have been the Chosen One but he would never have fulfilled Balance or found the courage to break free from Palpatine’s clutches if it weren’t for Luke.
‘Point Blank’ by Bruce Springsteen is a powerhouse of a song.
For that matter, all of The River is a powerhouse of an album.
The Boss is such a great songwriter. I’ll always love this one by him.
I just watched the Heroes on Both Sides arc again and still consider it to be one of the most engaging and underrated bits of Star Wars. Padme’s humanitarian efforts shine through in a very meaningful way and it’s really good seeing things aren’t clearly defined. We’re all people at the end of the day. I think that’s something we all need reminding of.
One of the best performances and albums ever conceived!
Meanwhile there were dodgy looking Vader costumes making personal appearances at malls all over the country. I personally saw one which IIRC, was a record store promotion tied the the release of the ESB soundtrack. Vader was accompanied by someone in the rattiest Chewbacca outfit I ever saw. The fur barely matched the Don Post Chewie mask they were wearing! In an era before cell phone cameras and internets, I imagine this flew well under the radar.
Fox went a tad overboard with the lawsuits. They thought they could own the concept of spaceships shooting beams at each other. They wanted to sue over Hardware Wars, but George liked it.
I doubt they could do anything about certain SW actors cashing in. 😉
That’s really fun stuff. Thank you for sharing it. 😄
All around it’s a pretty cool show. It does try a little too hard to be edgy and hip but overall it’s a really unique take on Harley Quinn.
“Obi-Wan … has taught you well.”
Both Obi-Wan and Luke have the high ground. The imagery and colours are strongly poetic too.
Mark Hamill’s Pop Culture Quest: Episode I – Joker’s Favor
On November 15th the Force will be strong on devices across the nation as Mark Hamill’s Pop Culture Quest comes to Comic–Con HQ. Mark Hamill has been collecting comic books, original artwork, toys and other mementos since the early 1970s and now he gets to share his passion and enthusiasm for collecting in his new web series!
The series kicks off at the DC Comics headquarters with the legendary Jim Lee, as the co-publisher and Mark trade favors and end up with their very own pieces of pop culture history. Join Mark throughout the season as Mark Hamill’s Pop Culture Quest uncovers comic book memorabilia, film props, Godzilla, pinball machines and beyond with special guests including monster amasser Scott Zilllner, famous collector Bob Burns and many more!
I couldn’t find anything but I did find this with Superman!
Here’s an article I found. I got some of my information crossed.
My only off hand guess as to why is that Star Wars was more of cash cow comparably speaking. I can’t recall the figures but in Empire of Dreams it was said that Fox’s profits after the release were the highest the studio had ever experienced. So they probably wanted to make sure nobody else could profit off it as they’d lose that money coming in.
That’s so funny. I can’t help but picture Dracula riding off to his laboratory on a motorcycle now. Haha
I’m not sure if it’s the first but I know George had to personally ask Freddie to stop riding on Darth Vader’s shoulders during concerts in the 80’s and Queen’s music video for Calling All Girls is a parody based on THX-1138.
The offline maps aren’t the same as the online ones, unfortunately. They’re significantly smaller, and they are fewer maps in offline than in online. Same for the game modes, fewer and lamer than online. Offline is meh. (But IIRC, every character is unlocked for offline play?)
Thank you for letting me know. That’s such a bummer honestly as it’s on sale for eighteen bucks at the moment. It might be better just waiting for Lego Star Wars and put it towards getting the Deluxe Edition as having the blue milk Luke minifigure and Rogue One characters DLC would be a lot more fun for roaming the galaxy since the game itself appears as though it will be the full game without any updates for new content. It’s a shame though that things are all DLC these days.
I figured this was as good as any thread to ask as I’m thinking about getting Battlefront 2 and it may have already been addressed. I apologise if so. Does anyone know rather or not the updates downloaded on PSN for Battlefront 2 include everything? Like will I have access to all era content with planets and characters or will I have to grind it out to unlock them? I mainly ask because I don’t have online gameplay access at this time but would still like to play with certain characters and explore different worlds when playing offline modes.
To those who like Rebels and to those who don’t, I really recommend watching this fan-made documentary. It’s an hour and a half so obviously that’s a big ask, but I watched it over several days and found it extremely thoughtful and engaging. Sam Witwer even posted about it on twitter.
It really delves into the mythological inspirations behind Rebels, and there are many.
This looks so good! Definitely looking forward to watching it. There’s also a three part series on the channel about The Clone Wars that looks just as engaging.
I highly recommend it. It’s very funny and realistic at the same time. The cast truly feels like an actual family. I think it’s been one of the best overlooked sitcoms in the last ten years.
I’ve finally come to the conclusion that Star Wars: Rebels is my favourite Star Wars series. It has my favourite romance in the franchise, my favourite master-apprentice duo, and many of my favourite moments - like Ben vs Maul and Ezra’s scene in the remaining piece of the Lothal Jedi temple. It tells a convincing account of the formation of the Rebel Alliance, while expanding the mythology of Star Wars in imaginative ways and keeping the story of a family unit forged in desperate times at its heart. Every character has episodes of development, including Chopper. It honours what came before by incorporating characters and vehicles from Legends and using McQuarrie’s art style as a basis for its visual style, as well as - for me at least - making the original trilogy more compelling. I could go on for hours.
At the end of the day, Rebels is the Star Wars story which makes me happy the most.
I’ve been getting back into Rebels and I think it’s up there as part of my favourite Disney era content. It’s making me feel like I may need to finally give Mandalorian a chance. With regards to Rebels though I think my favourite things about it are when it expands on the Force like with Bendu and the closure it gives with Maul. It honestly made me cry when he died after all these years. It was very eerie going back and watching his first fight with Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon’s last words. It was a very tragic feeling.
I think most people prefer imaginative creativity though.
I’d say this is very imaginative. It’s been around for centuries through different important books such as the Bible and Torah, and then Richard Wagner introduced it to music. He was the first to give characters, objects, or ideas a reoccurring theme musically. George started using this idea with his roots in filmmaking visually and then musically over his six films at the suggestion of John Williams if I recall correctly. Although to be fair you can see it within American Graffiti and THX 1138. It shows up in not just the visuals and music but within the narrative of his films. Most notably with Anakin and Luke’s paralleled but different journeys. Similar to THX and Curt. With Star Wars though it goes beyond that as if you look closely Luke is more his mother’s son, while Leia is more her father’s daughter. Yet they have their own motives and sense of self. It’s more complicated and difficult than it looks to pull off. There’s layers and layers of depth within his six films. This is only tipping the iceberg. There’s also historical references and old cinema callbacks to name but two. I think it’s taken for granted just how much the stories connect to each other because of some “clunky” dialogue but Star Wars has always been that way.
Here’s one of my favourite videos that addresses his approach to dialogue:
There’s so much visual imagination in his films but not without layers. Mustafar symbolises Hell and Coruscant grows more and more commercial as the story goes along to show the decline of society to name but two examples.
There’s a reason Star Wars connects to so many different people and I think it’s because in part how imaginative it is in blending together so many art forms and cultural heritages together.
“You and the Naboo form a symbiont circle. What happens to one of you will affect the other. You must understand this.”
I think it’s one of the most often overlooked bits of dialogue as it greatly illustrates how we can’t live without one another and that we’re doomed to fail if we don’t find common ground. I’m not sure it’s the most powerful but it’s definitely one of the most impactful and meaningful.
Rian Johnson’s The Brothers Bloom:
It was mostly pretty good. It definitely had a weirdness and goofiness to it but also had some good heartfelt moments. I definitely think it’s a film you have to see a second time to pick up on the nuances of the story.
act on instinct said:
Anakin Starkiller said:
but as is it would mess with the pace and tension release too much
You mean provide a welcome break from the snail’s pace of the Tatooine section?
Maybe for everyone who is used to Star Wars that’s how Tatooine feels, as a kid I loved the mystery of the barren planet with the droids before meeting Luke. And yes if there was an exciting chase through a tight winding cavern in the beginning of the movie it would cause diminishing returns by the end of the movie, the sequence the entire story is building up to.
I completely agree. I still love the down time with them for the reasons that it also is very much all visual storytelling and a good quieter part of the narrative after a strong action set piece on the Tantive IV. It gives us some time to process what we’ve seen so far before the story starts picking up again when we meet Luke. You need those quieter moments to contrast the bigger ones to get to know your characters. That’s partly why I think the down time in The Phantom Menace is so critical before the podrace. It gives us a chance to get to know Anakin as a person before he does something extraordinary.
screams in the void said:
screams in the void said:
^ This current discussion reminds me of the whole " Ring Theory " that was going on a few years back , I gotta go with HelloGreedo on his take on it here…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FGBGcvWkdM
To which I rebuke with this video essay by Rick Worley. He shares quotes from George that back things up that show the Ring Theory is true. It’s definitely intentional as you can even see it in The Clone Wars.
Here’s also a shorter video that addresses the idea.
Even Disney Star Wars does it. Albeit without understanding context a lot of the time and deliberate copy and paste.
^ In regards to the first video you linked to , cherry picking and subjective editing and commentary do not prove something to be true and the maker of that video is analogous to those he points to who are doing the same thing .
In regards to the second video , a great deal of those story points in Empire are a greatly attributable to screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan ,who also was a screenwriter on The Force Awakens …I think he understood context just fine . The video also points to Terminator 2 as an example of ring theory ,which HelloGreedo mentions that a ton of other films do and that it’s not hard to spot these things if you are looking for them .
In regards to the third video…of course their are parallels ,as HelloGreedo mentions that a ton of other films do and that it’s not hard to spot these things if you are looking for them, even The Legends EU did these things like closed loops and circular narratives ,as does Star Wars under Disney , which Those Rebels clips in the video are a part of .
All this said , there are things that I like about All of the Star Wars films and things I don’t which is a whole other topic on its own
I respectfully disagree in part with what you’re saying as George discusses it in greater detail than just what was covered in the video. He discusses it in the commentary of The Phantom Menace. He calls it “visual jazz” and in the commentary of Attack of the Clones addresses how characters start saying the same things with similar ambitions. Notably Anakin and Dooku. For that matter he addresses these things in the commentary of each of his films as he’s been exploring these ideas since his early days when working on THX 1138 and American Graffiti. There’s too many examples to consider them to be coincidence. Some of the most notable examples within Star Wars are how the Jedi Temple arrival in The Phantom Menace syncs at the same time with its burning in Revenge of the Sith. The Podrace and the Speeder Bike Chase in Return of the Jedi sync and begin at the same time. The explosions happen at the same time. The framing and camera work. It all aligns together. There’s also Obi-Wan telling Luke he needs his help in A New Hope while it’s mere second synchronised with Palpatine saying the same thing to Anakin. The level of detail he went to with paralleling father and son’s story is definitely there in layers through narrative structure and strong visual imagery. Sometimes they happen with the same character in different ways like Anakin’s choice when he succumbed to the Dark Side versus when he found the Light Side again when facing a similar choice. Narratively and visually it’s the same idea played differently but the same common principle but a different choice being made. There’s a great misunderstanding that poetry means copying but the images and narrative have to differ in some way for it to work effectively. This is why Rey doesn’t work entirely because they gave her so many responsibilities within the narrative that they didn’t think of the context.
I do think things are subjective but at the same time I do think sometimes people analysis films from the prospective of what they want them to be versus what the author intended. That’s not to say Red Letter Media or whomever can’t have an opinion as we all have one but trying to understand what the author intended versus spitballing without proper claims is not always right, especially when so many of the perceived problems of the Prequels are addressed within the narrative. It’s all to say that if you let go of what you want something to be you may find an understanding of what the author intended and see the underlying subtly versus your notions of what it is. There’s rules for a reason within filmmaking of this scale but that’s not to say they’re not meant to be breakable if done right.
The thing with The Empire Strikes Back is George had the narrative and majority of the plot outlined. He came up with the large bulk of the ideas for it. Lawrence Kasdan mostly touched up the dialogue, notably with Yoda. There’s this great misconception that George didn’t do much with Empire and that’s why it’s “the best of the best” but he really was heavily involved. It’s out of respect for Leigh Brackett that he’s not recognised more I think and in turn Lawrence Kasdan received such a cult status. I highly recommend Jonathan Rinzler’s book.
We’ll have to disagree about The Force Awakens. I think it copies without understanding context more than anything. It’s too on the nose.
I’ve not seen Terminator. So I don’t think it’s fair to give my thoughts on that part of the video but it came after Star Wars. A lot of films may connect to some extent to it now but it wasn’t always that way. Star Wars is what pushed the mythology and importance of heroes back on the path of central importance within mainstream stories. Before that Hollywood in particular was going down a very gritty and dark path. That’s not to say there wasn’t stories that didn’t parallel or connect before it but it had fallen off in Hollywood. Star Wars has always had strong parallels. The Original Trilogy in its own way fits the structure of ring composition very well between the three films.
I think Rebels is the only Disney era content to truly get the context mostly right but it makes sense that it would as Dave Filoni learned from George. I can’t say for the other bits as I’ve read very little of the EU so far and with Disney’s films it’s all about context. I think they’re missing context most of the time. I think Rogue One and some of The Last Jedi are exceptions.
Absolutely. We all have different interpretations of what is and what isn’t Star Wars. That’s part of the charm of it. It brings different people together for different reasons but there’s a common ground in knowing we all love it but may differ in some ways. I may not fully think Disney has understood Star Wars but I can still find some enjoyment if I don’t think too much of it fitting into what George created. His six films and The Clone Wars will always be my favourites. I’ll always be grateful to him.
When Anakin and Padme are leaving Coruscant for Naboo I always thought she said that Anakin would “prove real goodies” instead of “to prove how good he is”.