Going into this trilogy I had a small hope that Lucas secretly shot footage during Return of the Jedi for a potential ST that would be used in these films, to take us by complete surprise.
To explain Luke’s transition would not be for the sake of appeasing fans, it would be for keeping the narrative sound despite a 30 year gap in the story. Also,
Broom Kid said:
His failures didn’t ruin him. They eventually made him even greater. That’s inspiring to me. Even good people fall down. That doesn’t make them bad people. It just means they need to work harder at remembering who they can be, and moving back towards that light.
This is verbatim the themes shared by Luke and Anakin in the OT. Such drastic departure and character change only to accomplish the same exact moral in a less satisfying way (in my opinion).
For me it is similar to having the PT end with Anakin the hero, and then introduce him as Darth Vader in the next movie, and then show a tiny flashback to explain how Anakin is suddenly an evil mass murderer.
Additionally to know that Anakin fell to the dark side is supposed to be a shock to the audience, and a disturbing one at that. To know that Luke gave up is at first shown to be sympathetic, then unforgivable, then just blase when the previous two flashbacks become synthesized. But ultimately we’re meant to think it’s a sensible turn of events when not only is it not but it’s hardly fleshed out enough to empathize with either Luke or Ben’s situation. Obi-Wan’s apathy to Vader is at least justified by Vader explaining that Obi-Wan wanted Vader to redeem himself up until the desire to see him be redeemed could no longer be sustained.
Broom Kid said:
I don’t really hold these characters as sacred? Star Wars is for messing with. While this whole place was borne out of a notion that disagrees strongly, it’s also a place that has come to nurture and promote that specific notion. Star Wars is for messing with. It’s malleable.
Can you honestly say you wouldn’t be the least bit affected if the next film symbolically retcons the major themes of TLJ for the sake of mass appeal and fanservice? Genuine question because I don’t think there’s one true answer for this.
If the only way you approach the argument that Luke has been characterized improperly is by saying that the audience is merely blinded by their emotion, insofar as to say they should be ashamed of being impassioned by their connection to the films, the conversation doesn’t last much longer afterwards. The reason they cut the flashback after seeing the temple burn is because it would look absolutely ridiculous to visualize Luke packing up and leaving for good without a plan of action or a means to correct the mistake he felt so badly about.
Luke thought he could take down Vader because he was his father’s kid, and had enough training. He was severely mistaken. He lost a hand, couldn’t save his best friend Han, and endangered Leia and the rebellion with his presence alone. Not only does he stay on track with his original mission statement, despite having every virtue and preconceived notion questioned, despite having his mentors be liars in his eyes, despite being so lost in the world, he was ultimately strengthened by his own failure and came out a better person on top. That’s a moral I can personally abide by, and it’s hardly an unrealistic thing.
Luke then thinks he can train Ben Solo, despite sensing the Dark Side throughout his training. He was severly mistaken; he lost his nephew to a powerful Dark Side Force user and felt like he betrayed Han and Leia, although they would disagree. Han himself thought Luke was a more reputable person to be trusted with turning Kylo back from the dark than he was, Leia thought it possible because he was a Jedi, and Luke didn’t agree. And now despite being a wiser, more mature human being who’d been through many worse things in the past, he opts to flake on his mission statement and let much worse things happen from his inaction than had ever happened from any of his direct actions. Because he’s…insecure? If the reasoning really was that he felt he stood to lose even more, then he’d first prevent more loss from occurring while he was still readily available to do so. But he doesn’t because the script requires him elsewhere for reasons that were undeveloped prior to actually putting him there.
Functionally it’d be more sensible to have him go there to mediate, to find the precise moment to reintroduce himself to the conflict in order to ensure the “brightest timeline” so to speak. And in his meditation he begins to doubt whether he’s committed to the right course of action, but before fully following through, it takes Rey, a young adult who has been through near-identical trials and tribulations, to truly connect and bring him out of his hole.
Broom Kid said:
This is where the case for Luke in TLJ breaks down for me. That his legacy was enacted behind closed doors made no difference to the universe of The Force Awakens, wherein every character’s motivation was dictated by a quest to find Luke, specifically because of the actions he committed to 30 years prior. Rejection of his legendary status would be much more plausible had it been an overexaggerated or a falsified one.
But it’s Luke doing the rejecting of his legendary status, not the universe. It’s a question of Luke never quite believing in himself, and even when he did, he did it the wrong way. He is being ruthless towards himself in that confession to Rey, and it shows that he never quite believed in himself the way others did, and when he tried to, he did it with reservations and a lack of conviction.
That’s very much in character for Luke Skywalker. “Always with you, it can not be done.” That’s the part of the legend Luke sees that nobody else in the larger universe has ever even heard of, and that’s the part that scares him the most, and haunts him the hardest. The Last Jedi is a movie that is consistently about discovering who you REALLY are, and the only way you can do that is when you are brought low by your biggest fear, and you decide you have to move beyond it. HOW you do that is what defines you. That happens with Poe, it happens with Finn, it happens with Rey, it happens with Kylo, and it happens with Luke.
That’s what I meant by rejection, that he rejects it at all is confusing. You cite a criticism from Yoda in Empire to explain his lack of resolve, as if the following film didn’t go to great lengths to demonstrate that Luke had grown beyond that. He became less of a doubter than the master who once called him the same, when he thought he could redeem a murderer through love for his father alone, and succeeded in doing so. For what reason would he have to doubt himself at that point? For what reason is there to parse from the remainder of that film that he’d remain a doubter? It’s less a character assassination than it is a character regression; that you have to compare TLJ Luke to ESB Luke is telling of exactly what’s wrong with the writing.
While Luke’s actions in the OT happened in confined quarters with no witnesses, his actions here happen in the open in front of many witnesses on both sides with few understanding the reality of what just happened. Luke did not take this action to create a false myth that would destroy the Jedi (what postmodernism would do), but to create a new myth to help rebuild the Jedi.
This is where the case for Luke in TLJ breaks down for me. That his legacy was enacted behind closed doors made no difference to the universe of The Force Awakens, wherein every character’s motivation was dictated by a quest to find Luke, specifically because of the actions he committed to 30 years prior. Rejection of his legendary status would be much more plausible had it been an overexaggerated or a falsified one, e.g. if the world believed he single handedly conquered the Empire with his own two hands and killed Vader, without any redemption or familial connection; but it’s not. Rey, the layman who’s lived a secluded life on a desert planet with little connection to the outside world has the events of the throne room scene in Jedi down to a T. She is our frame of reference for what the majority of the galaxy’s population knows Luke Skywalker to be, which is a 99.9% factual perspective. Functionally the old Luke legend should serve the same purpose as the new & reinvented Luke legend, perhaps even more so because it’s not a trick of the lense with wonky astral-projection attached. It doesn’t serve this purpose because the Director wanted a deconstructionist angle in his film without prioritizing how it would actually make sense in the 8th Act of this 9 Act story.
The D23 timeline uses the theatrical logos, if that means anything:
I would think Snoke’s death is directly tied to Palpatine’s reemergence. That he poses the whole “darkness rises and light to meet it” thing gives pause as to whether or not there’s a more abstract spiritual thing going on here with the force and the people who channel it.
“The force does not belong to the Jedi” but all that’s left of the force are the Jedi at the end of the OT. Vader, despite being who he was for most of his life, arrived at the same spiritual plane Yoda and Obi-Wan reside in. Palpatine in his knowledge of ‘unnatural abilities’ surely could pull off the same trick without redemption, but the effects were subdued. Paranormal Dark Side is secondary to Terrestrial Dark Side, and so Snoke makes himself known again, pulling the Skywalker lineage right into his evil abyss with a reach a dead Palpatine simply couldn’t muster.
Luke cuts himself off from the force, Leia hides her power. The light side needs to course correct; and so Rey emerges as the light of the future. Ben and Luke are none the wiser to realize that this will be an endless loop unless the precedent is destroyed, and so Ben cuts off the loop from its origin, but oops! Now the Force needs to course correct the other way, and so the nether world’s orbit shrinks such that it can reach the playing field. This would also account for why Yoda/Obi-Wan/Anakin pop in and out of existence for the most sporadic of times. And with rage and determination keeping his will alive, old Palpy is back to see how much Sith witchcraft he can ring dry to angle himself into power once again, no matter the physical form. Luminous beings are we…
I would love to see them!
Well, here’s a missed opportunity:
The film was screened on 35mm at a theater in NYC, with a Q&A by Derek Drymon after the showing. I’ve yet to find any photos from the event, but that there is a presentable 35mm print still in existence is at least comforting.
One animated film that would benefit from its original film format presentation. Would love if somebody scanned this
In TFA I would say he was a very good villain, raised in a well intentioned environment and part of the Skywalker bloodline, he had everything going for him. His cathartic devotion to a dogma past simply because of the ideal of Vader turns him into the whiny petulant child with a lust for power that Anakin often was. There was a set up for him to be Rey’s foil, pushing himself to his physical limits to surpass hers, for the sake of none but his own. Murdering Han was not so much killing his past, rather cutting the emotional tethers that would withhold him from his peak performance. Generally a once good hearted kid who is now forcing himself to become a sociopath because of a pre ordianed destiny that he unwittingly concieved by himself.
TLJ complicates this description, as has been discussed to death by this point. There is less concern with upholding the legacy of Granddad and instead a more independent definition of reaching self-actualization. Kylo’s mission is now said to be breaking the cycle of war, and taking its precedent out of the Galaxy. At first, so we are left to assume, he hopes to achieve this through destroying the Resistance…which would just leave a proxied Empire in power, essentially still the same deal as thirty years beforehand.
His purpose in the movie doesn’t really make sense until Snoke rejects him, and at that point he then has a motivation to want to rid the world of both Empire and Rebellion alike. It then falls apart again when he appoints himself Emperor and once again returns to the idea of just taking out the Resistance.
By the end of the second film, he is reduced to screaming and a desire to kill, not really moving in any particular direction. I feel as though the scope of the character has now become so vast and confusing that we would need a defined conclusion in part three for the whole thing to once again make sense.
You’re definitely taking it into the direction I had always wanted to. Someone online had ripped a Spanish DVD bonus feature that has a proper 35mm clip in decent fidelity, that I think would work as a reputable reference:
Forgive my laziness, it’s still a project I always hoped to see completed and I wish a true 35mm scan had found its way online by now.
One trustworthy resource I’ve found is the splitscreen of a storyboard bonus feature, on one of the older DVD’s. This is sourced from the original film master, and not the 2K re-render that has since replaced it:
From the article, talking about the ‘fans’:
They never call it “bad logic” when it’s something they like.
Or when it’s something that makes them feel good. This reveals everything. Because there are plenty of things I find objectionable in a given film and could apply a logic argument to, but I don’t. Because that’s not the point of storytelling, nor why I’d really find the given issue to be objectionable. It’s all about how characters grow, change and are in conflict in one another.
I feel like a creator should always have the intended audience in mind, so as best to know when they can get away with narrative cheats. For example, if the audience is invested in a familiarly textured story, such as the first third of TFA, you can have one coincidence after another and the audience will buy it because they want to be immersed in this world.
However, if you’re giving the audience something new, something difficult and perhaps uncomfortable to deal with, you want to make sure that your story logic is absolutely sound because the audience will be closely examining the rules of the world to make sure that the movie still ‘works’ for them.
In regards to TLJ, he’s saying there’s no bad logic in the first place, just people projecting it onto situations they don’t personally like. Are you just saying they needed to go the extra mile to make the logic of everything clear? Just seems like unnecessary hand holding to me, and I’m sure you’d still get people criticizing that aspect of the film anyway.
In general, I agree with him. Criticisms about logic and plot holes are some of the basest anyone could come up with. Rarely do they have much to deal with what’s actually important about the movie’s story. Most movies are not logic puzzles, Star Wars especially.
Yet logic used in stories is like grammar used in poetry. We can forgive poetic license, since it serves a purpose, but in general the words should adhere to some grammatical structure (logic) to make sense. The existence of poetic license should not be used as a free pass for a poor grasp of grammar.
This is an insanely apt analogy, actually.
eBay has graced us with some high quality scans of the primary trailer:
While there is an obvious yellow fade over this particular print, we now have a clear idea of how the curves, exposure, and contrast of the digital animation looked when transferred over to a theatrical print. Based upon my own copy of this same trailer, and the scan uploaded to Paramount’s YouTube channel, a proper color timing can easily be reached.
Oh cool! I hadn’t seen that until now.
Save for maybe David Prowse, it seems that everyone even tangential to the Original Trilogy has made their reappearance in Disney’s new lineage of creations. Even Ewan McGregor had a line in TFA. I can understand holding off on Hayden Christensen, considering his shying away from the industry as a whole, but why not McDiarmid, someone who is a giant in the franchise’s legacy? James Earl Jones himself returned for Rebels, and yet Sam Witwer stayed on as Palpatine. Of all the chances given to legacy contributiors to reprise their roles, why not give one to him?
The look I am aiming to recreate was very easily obtainable in After Effects. Essentially by adjusting curves/levels, compressing highlights, and adding gate weave/grain I was able to produce an authentic look that I imagine comes close to how the movie appeared in many theatres in 2004.