Star Wars discussions

Inspired by a discussion that began in the Working from Home thread, this thread is to discuss all Star Wars media – movies, new and old, the various Disney+ series, games, comics, etc.

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To start off…

I think you hit the proverbial nail on the head. My own analogy for this is it’s like the new trilogy is a car and it has two drivers, with both of them having 100% different ideas on where the car should go and neither giving in, so it just spins and swivels, ending up in a ditch in the end.
And yes, one of the reasons I dislike Rise of the Skywalker is because it actively undoes much of what happened in The Last Jedi.

Oh, and…

@CJR Sure, just make sure you don’t have high expectations. The problem is not with how good the trilogy is as a series of Star Wars movies but, as Mr Toaster pointed out, that it’s a disjointed mess with no clear direction. If you don’t mind that, you might even enjoy large part of it.

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I’d say that if you look at episodes 7-9 as individual films with no connection to each other that might be the best way to enjoy them.

I don’t know if you ever played a game as a child where someone wrote the start of a story and passed it on to someone else to continue? To me, it feels exactly like that was what happened except between script writers who actively hated each other.

Author #1: “Fans hated a rehash of the same tropes in the Force Awakens, let’s try something new without trying to continue a legacy that’s concluded.”

Author #2 “No! The characters and narrative must continue the legacy!”

Fans: “What in the actual F is going on here?!”

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With The Last Jedi, I can’t get over the fact that the writer and director who managed to destroy the film (Rian Johnson) also wrote and directed one of the best mystery films ever (Knives Out).

This video does a really good job of showing how Johnson’s techniques of subverting expectations works well in one film and fails dismally in the other. Warning: SPOILERS FOR BOTH FILMS

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Indeed, but for three individual movies, they are too much connected.

That said, if you watch them completely out of the SW context, at least it removes the possibly single biggest issue with the movie – namely, the Death Star-sized ass pull move of making Palpatine the big bad, even retroactively making it so that he was allegedly behind the events of the previous two movies.
Like, just… why? Why not let Kylo Ren be THE big bad, which was rather clearly the way he was going at the end of TLJ? Why force Pally back into the game? Just to spite Rian Johnson? Or in some (largely, if not wholly*) misguided belief that fans will be pleased to see him return?
*I’m saying largely because I’m sure there are a few fans who are genuinely happy with his return.

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Did you ever read the comic, ‘Star Wars: Legacy’? Its not canon anymore but it was part of the old EU and was based on a descendent of Luke’s several hundred years in the future. He had an interesting philosophy on the force I haven’t really seen elsewhere in media which I’ll paraphrase as “I don’t care about the light side or the dark side. The Force is a tool and I’ll use it however I choose.”

I guess that would make him a Grey Jedi? I thought that philosophy was where TLJ was going and I was excited to see something like a merging of the Jedi and Sith orders. Then I was sad.

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No, I didn’t, but I think that would have definitely been a better ending than what they did.

It was great. TBH, it was the EU that really caught my interest in Star Wars rather than the original trilogy. The Knights of the Old Republic game in particular was really what grabbed me (and yes, I am extremely excited about the remake). I didn’t read many of the books but the premise of the comic sounded interesting and definitely didn’t disappoint. I think you can still find the collected editions on Amazon and other less evil retailers.

Agreed. I was in school when the Phantom Menace came out so the VHS copies of the original trilogy were acquired. Since then I have been a fan, despite the prequel trilogy.

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Heh, and I had just finished primary school; I remember I was in London on a trip organized by our English teacher that summer and Phantom Menace merchandise and banners were all over the electronics store I hung out at with a friend. There was so much optimism for the prequel trilogy back then… too bad that and Clone Wars were so weak in the end.
(That said, I don’t dislike The Phantom Menace like so many vocal fans, Jar Jar Binks notwithstanding; I think that also has its good moments, it’s just ultimately not that memorable.)

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Honestly, I wish they hadn’t retconned that part of the EU. I find the idea of the Unifying Force more interesting than light = good, dark = evil.

I mean, anger is not necessarily a bad emotion. It can be destructive, but it can also be a motivating force. If we weren’t angry at injustices, then we’d never try to correct them.

Meanwhile, cutting yourself off from emotion, even just negative emotion, is also a bad thing. The Light Side is all about compassion and cooperation. How can you truly have compassion if you don’t understand emotions? And if you experience anger despite your best efforts - as is natural for humans - then you don’t know how to manage it. It keeps growing until it consumes you. And if you associate strong emotion with evil, then experiencing a natural emotion convinces you that you’re evil, so why hold back? Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate… but only if you don’t know how to work through emotions. Which the Jedi don’t teach you because that’s Dark Side.

Thus, the idea of the Unifying Force, allowing someone to experience both sides of the Force and become a more balanced person. Someone who can manage the emotion of the Dark Side, but without falling into the Sith’s pitfall of self-destructive strength. And someone who can work through emotions more effectively to use the Light Side.

But no, that was too interesting, so Lucas retconned it to the joy of nobody but himself and then made a terrible villain who inspired the bad parts of Kylo Ren. (Though I maintain that the sequel trilogy ripped off the Glove of Darth Vader series, so technically Kylo Ren = Trioculus)

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For many years, i had to make do with parts 7, 8 and 9 being The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn. Beginning with Heir to the Empire, then Dark Force Rising and concluding with The Last Command, it was an excellent read. Intelligent new characters, cohesive plot, fantastic set pieces, it wad everything i could wish for.

Then The Skywalker Trilogy came along…

…and as far as I’m concerned, the Thrawn Trilogy is still the superior trilogy.

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From what I’ve heard from my vocally anti-sequel trilogy colleague, I can agree.
Curiously, it looks like they are trying to reintegrate parts of that concept, at least from what I see in The Mandalorian so far (with Disney+ having launched recently here, I have just finished watching the first season) – showing that the transition to the New Republic is not a smooth process and there is a very obvious power vacuum, with charismatic leaders eager to fill it in. Obviously, Disney can’t take it much further due to the new Sequel Trilogy being canon, but it’s still interesting to see.

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I cannot agree strongly enough, I just re-read Heir to the Empire quite recently and it still stands up well in comparison.

There was a Thrawn origin comic published fairly recently which despite not being authored by Zahn is still very good and I don’t think it contradicts the earlier EU either (although I could be wrong).

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I don’t think I’ve seen it described as the Unifying Force before but I’m not well read in the EU, is that where its from?

I think at the time the original trilogy was released there was less moral ambiguity in a lot of media, particularly that aimed at childrens. ‘Goodies’ were paragons of morality and virtue whereas ‘Baddies’ were all ‘evil for the sake of it’ archetypes. I guess you could argue that Han Solo shooting first was a nod towards a shade of grey there but Lucas changed his mind on that too didn’t he? Even Anakins fall went from one extreme to another: “I have legitimate fears which I have not been helped with and greviances about how I have been treated” changed very quickly to “Welp, I’m going to murder a room full of children.”

What I have seen in the EU (largely limited to the material I’ve mentioned elsewhere on this thread) seemed more open to shades of grey which I personally find more interesting.

The Phantom Menace was always going to be a difficult pitch. The original trilogy was a kids film and thats how Episode 1 was approached. However it was part of a series that started in the 70’s and a core part of the audience was always going to be adults who grew up with the series but who now had more mature expectations from it.

There are a lot of great children’s films out there which are aimed at kids and adults - jokes and themes which will appeal to the ‘parents’ in the audience whilst going over the heads of the younglings. A ‘knowing wink’ kind of humour. The Phantom Menance forgot about the mature audience or didn’t do enough work to get the balance right.

There are other legitimate criticisms with the story telling and cinematography but like you, I don’t hate it and I’m looking forward to watching it again when my kids are a bit older.

There are now two Thrawn prequel trilogies. One follows on from the short story he wrote about how Thrawn joined the Empire. It also ties in with Star Wars: Rebels. The second goes back to Thrawn’s rise through the Chiss ranks. I’m a little way into the second book.

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About the audience’s expectation being different – true that, I read in a magazine that part of the problem “we” have with Star Wars is that we were around during the previous trilogy/trilogies and that for little kids running around swinging around Kylo Ren’s cross-saber replica it won’t matter what all the trilogy does wrong, for them, this is Star Wars.

About that… I would say that the problem is EXACTLY that they couldn’t make up their mind about the target audience. Yes, it’s clearly aimed at kids… who will, however, not be interested in galactic politics and trade embargoes.

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How are they?

I am very curious about which of the trilogies the kids will most enjoy but I think I’m a year or two off from that (and their MCU intro).

You know it’s been that long since I’ve seen the prequels that I’d forgotten about all of the political stuff!