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BaronGrackle
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Grackle is too dumb to cross-quote ThunderPeel2001:

 

 

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Let me ask you this: Considering the Empire is run by a dark lord of the Sith, leveraging all the dark powers to gain control over the galaxy. And considering his puppet, his second-in-command throughout the entire journey to power, is another lord of the Sith. And considering how easily and willing they are to demonstrate their powers to anyone who even slightly displeases them. And considering the entire Galactic Republic, which was entirely policed by an army Jedi using The Force at every opportunity, is still well within living memory.

 

Can we agree that this is an issue with the overall narrative of Star Wars, and not an issue with the original Star Wars film (ie A New Hope) as a film in and of itself, when it was released and still alone? A lot of the premises you listed aren't established until later. We didn't even know the Emperor used the Force, and it's easy enough to believe that Vader's own power was rarely demonstrated and subject to rumors!

 

 

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And considering anyone can make use of these powers and feel something with as little as

 10 seconds of tutelage...

 

In which film? In the original, Luke blocked a few training shots in front Han, after missing several others -- easy to dismiss as lucky.

 

Luke making that shot on the Death Star was a huge deal, the first time he was shown to excercise any substantial control over the Force to us the audience... and, apart from Vader, most people would have likely just interpreted it as a really good shot, no space magic involved.

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3 hours ago, BaronGrackle said:

We didn't even know the Emperor used the Force, and it's easy enough to believe that Vader's own power was rarely demonstrated and subject to rumors!

 

He choked a guy from across the room in the middle of a random meeting. Nobody showed the slightest bit of surprise, either. Nobody was like, "holy fucking shit, you have magic powers!?!?". That dude's scepticism was bizarre (although I admit it's mostly due to what we learn in later movies).

 

3 hours ago, BaronGrackle said:

In which film? In the original, Luke blocked a few training shots in front Han, after missing several others -- easy to dismiss as lucky.

 

 

You missed my point: LUKE felt it for himself. With 10 seconds of tutelage from some crusty dude. So ANYONE could feel it for themselves with 10 seconds of tutelage.

 

And if you can forgive discrepancies between films, and say it doesn't matter that the issues I raised don't make sense because they only exist as a result of later films introducing troubling elements... then what's your issue with the First Order? The FO makes sense in TFA, just like (according to you) The Force makes sense in ANH.

 

And if you're saying that details of The Force only don't make sense as a result of ESB and ROTJ, then how is that different that FO doesn't make as much sense as a result of TLJ?

 

Isn't this all cognitive bias: Cherry picking evidence to support a pre-existing conclusion? All evidence to the contrary is ignored, and any evidence that supports a belief is acknowledged.

Edited by ThunderPeel2001
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I wasn't going to indulge but I suppose I will because I should be going to sleep and I'm putting it off.

 

To go back to the original question. I don't even think the original Star Was films DO give a good sense of how big the empire is. It's sort of implied they're the dominant force in the galaxy, but we really don't know anything about how many planets that really covers (if this is covered in dialogue then it must be a very throwaway line because I can't remember it), and how many exist outside of the empire, whether they are one of many large controlling forces, or whether they're the only game in town. We assume they are the latter (and I'm sure the expanded universe goes into it a lot more), but in the films themselves we're actually given very little about how big the empire is and how it is run. Anyway, the implication is that the empire is 'big' but I'd struggle to tease out more detail than that. And that's fine, because the story isn't really about that. The empire is just there so that the rebels have something to be rebels against, and to make the conflict bigger than the interpersonal stuff between Luke and Vader.

 

You ARE given the impression that the empire is still struggling to obtain absolute power, because it's only just managed to get rid of the senate, and they clearly have a problem with the rebels. Does this mean they're a fledgeling but growing empire or a well established force? Probably closer to the former, given that the empire only gets going less than 20 years before the start of A New Hope.

 

But I always felt that the empire was a bit vaguely defined, and didn't really care because all these questions are interesting but really not that important.

 

The First Order, I always saw as a remnant of the empire trying to re-establish control. Where they get the sort of resources they have I don't know (or really care - again, it's just not that sort of film), and to what extent they've been able to establish control isn't well defined, but they're clearly a large threat, but one living in the shadow of the former empire. Its leaders are less formidable than the empires, and are often shown to stuggle to impose authority, making up for it instead with sheer might. They have resources, but they're clearly not experts at weilding it in the same way as the original empire is portrayed.

 

I think that's a comparable level of worldbuilding detail, to be honest, but I'll go back to my original thing that to me the interesting things about the original films weren't the mechanics of the empire but Luke's growth, his relationship to Vader, Vader's arc, and the adventure of the small group of rebels. And the interesting thing about the sequel trilogy (at least until RoS decided to chuck it away) was about navigating a new relationship with the force, making a break with the past, re-examining tradition, all of course again through the hi-jinks of the core cast of characters (in this way, come to think of it, this made the First Order ideal antagonists - trying to re-play the past, make the same mistakes over again, but even in their attempts never succeeding in recapturing what was lost)

 

So that's what I mean when I say I don't really care about the First Order. It's the same way I don't care about the Empire. They're just there to make the story have big stakes. In the original trilogy, they didn't even properly use the emperor of the Empire until the 3rd film, and later went back and changed ESB. Clearly they only decided he was really important to the story in RotJ, by which time Star Wars was a big enough deal that they almost had no choice but to pay a bit more attention to their worldbuilding.

 

I do mean it though when I say I probably won't hang out much in this thread because... I really have had all these conversations before. I like The Last Jedi a whole bunch and it's tiring to be told I need to justify it whenever I bring it up. I don't think it's perfect. My main problem with it is that because of its structure they keep characters apart who I think have great chemistry in VII, and severely underuse Finn (though RoS is way more guilty of that one)

 

But I think it's the only genuinely surprising Star Wars film in the main series, apart from ESB, and it manages to be surprising in completely different ways to ESB. I think it's a huge shame that the thematic breadcrumbs clearly left by TLJ were either walked back by RoS or just completely ignored. RoS is one of the most cowardly films ever made. Heck, even the prequels that I'm no big fan of were thematically consistent.

 

Anyway, bed time.

 

 

Edited by KestrelPi
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1 hour ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

 

He choked a guy from across the room in the middle of a random meeting. Nobody showed the slightest bit of surprise, either. Nobody was like, "holy fucking shit, you have magic powers!?!?". That dude's scepticism was bizarre (although I admit it's mostly due to what we learn in later movies).


Wasn't that the only time Vader used the Force around his officers, in that first film? Motti may have been the only guy in the room who doubted they existed.

 

1 hour ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

You missed my point: LUKE felt it for himself. With 10 seconds of tutelage from some crusty dude. So ANYONE could feel it for themselves with 10 seconds of tutelage.


Your point being that any person should have been able to "feel" the Force if they try? The film indicated that only some people were strong in the Force, so it wouldn't have worked for everyone. And Luke went his whole life without knowing how to feel the Force anyway, until a Jedi started him down the path.

 

1 hour ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

And if you can forgive discrepancies between films, and say it doesn't matter that the issues I raised don't make sense because they only exist as a result of later films introducing troubling elements... then what's your issue with the First Order?


True, it was wrong of me to reference mistakes from TFA and apply them to TLJ.

 

In TFA, the First Order was not a credible military threat. It consistently lost its battles against the Resistance. But it pulled off a surprise terrorist attack with a superweapon, after which the superweapon was destroyed.

 

In TLJ, at least the First Order is shown as being able to fight the Resistance in battle. That being said... the only way I can even attempt to make sense of that chase sequence, is to headcanon that the First Order is very tiny and doesn't have any other ships or fighters to end the chase. Just a tiny First Order chasing a tiny Resistance, not even on the radar of the bulk of the galaxy. Sadly, the intro text and dialogue/tone aren't in line with such a take.

 

46 minutes ago, KestrelPi said:

To go back to the original question. I don't even think the original Star Was films DO give a good sense of how big the empire is. It's sort of implied they're the dominant force in the galaxy,


It's PRETTY CLEAR that they're big and powerful, they have vast resources, and there's not much to oppose them other than the Rebels. It's a clear situation, a clarity we never get to see with the First Order-Resistance-Republic as depicted in any of the Sequel films.

 

46 minutes ago, KestrelPi said:

The First Order, I always saw as a remnant of the empire trying to re-establish control. Where they get the sort of resources they have I don't know (or really care - again, it's just not that sort of film), and to what extent they've been able to establish control isn't well defined, but they're clearly a large threat,


Hard disagree with the last sentence. I could not believe the First Order was "a large threat" in TLJ, the tiny group of ships incapable of cutting off or using fighters against the tiny group of Resistance ships, completely oblivious to Resistance trsnsports leaving and returning to both ships casually.

 

46 minutes ago, KestrelPi said:

But I think it's the only genuinely surprising Star Wars film in the main series, apart from ESB, and it manages to be surprising in completely different ways to ESB.


I'm not sure what could have surprised you, apart maybe from Luke casually throwing the lightsaber aside at the start. The film starts with the knockoff chase from ESB, it has the knockoff training with an old Jedi, it had a group go to a bar of scum and villainy, throw in illegal parking from Spaceballs, add the throne room scene also included in ROTJ and ROTS (a group of Force users enter a throne room and start talking... it would have been genuinely surprising if they all left the room alive, or if Kylo or Rey had died instead of Snoke... killing Snoke was the lazy choice), and wrap it up with the Battle of Hoth diet version.

 

Yeah, I liked Luke using a Force projection. At that point, I liked seeing Luke doing anything at all... after he spent the entire film conpletely forgetting his character development from the original films, and being confused because the old Jedi ways were wrong - because I guess Johnson didn't realize that every single Star Wars film has already indicated that the old Jedi ways were wrong.

 

46 minutes ago, KestrelPi said:

RoS is one of the most cowardly films ever made.

 

That is unwarranted. Yes RoS betrayed TLJ, but remember that TLJ did everything it could to betray TFA, and it burnt any possible bridges that RoS could have used to recover.

 

One of the few things I enjoyed about TLJ was how it mercilessly tore into TFA. When Snoke reprimanded Kylo for losing to an untrained girl? When he told him to take off the ridiculous helmet? When Rian Johnson did that, he was echoing the internet at the time. He took fan complaints against TFA, and he put them into the dialogue of the film, in order to join the ridicule against TFA while implying that his film would be better.

 

When you call RoS cowardly, you drop the same pronouncement on TLJ.

Edited by BaronGrackle
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A lot has already been written on this topic over the past five-odd years, and so, both to prevent our venturing unnecessarily across well-trodden ground and for the benefit of those joining the conversation without having seen its beginnings in the ReMI thread, I'd like to provide a brief summary of the arguments made thus far, as well as to pre-emptively raise such points as I expect will figure heavily into the discussions to come. Thusly:

 

"Yeah, but"

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1 hour ago, Niemandswasser said:

A lot has already been written on this topic over the past five-odd years, and so, both to prevent our venturing unnecessarily across well-trodden ground and for the benefit of those joining the conversation without having seen its beginnings in the ReMI thread, I'd like to provide a brief summary of the arguments made thus far, as well as to pre-emptively raise such points as I expect will figure heavily into the discussions to come. Thusly:

 

"Yeah, but"


::pat, pat::

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I don’t Love Star Wars. But I like it.  As most good franchises, it’s a lot of fun but also has many flaws - and that’s totally fine.

But it’s interesting (don’t know if it’s worth, but interesting) to think that much about the empire or the First Order. To me they’re just story vehicles…

 

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26 minutes ago, BillyCheers said:

But it’s interesting (don’t know if it’s worth, but interesting) to think that much about the empire or the First Order. To me they’re just story vehicles…

 

Yeah, my opinion on the subject is pretty much this. They are a growing threat that if not dealt with could bring the galaxy into another dark age and they have to be stopped.

As far as the quality of the film itself, the Last Jedi is ok, for me. I used to hate it, because it seemed to destroy those plot threads that the Force Awakens tried to introduce, but (after hearing more varying opinions about it) I understood what it was trying to do with the themes of change, of growth etc...

So now I appreciate it more for its themes and for trying to bring something new to the Star Wars universe, instead of continuing in the same old thread of "the Skywalker family is powerful with the force" and "the dark side is totally bad and only the light side is good"

Still, the chase with the rebel ship doesn't make any sense, that general lady could have avoided Poe whole story arc just by telling him what her plan was and there are too many Mark Hamill trolling moments (i guess they were trying to make him like Yoda?), but it's more of a "nice ideas, not so good excecution"

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6 hours ago, BaronGrackle said:


Wasn't that the only time Vader used the Force around his officers, in that first film? Motti may have been the only guy in the room who doubted they existed.

 


Your point being that any person should have been able to "feel" the Force if they try? The film indicated that only some people were strong in the Force, so it wouldn't have worked for everyone. And Luke went his whole life without knowing how to feel the Force anyway, until a Jedi started him down the path.

 


True, it was wrong of me to reference mistakes from TFA and apply them to TLJ.

 

In TFA, the First Order was not a credible military threat. It consistently lost its battles against the Resistance. But it pulled off a surprise terrorist attack with a superweapon, after which the superweapon was destroyed.

 

In TLJ, at least the First Order is shown as being able to fight the Resistance in battle. That being said... the only way I can even attempt to make sense of that chase sequence, is to headcanon that the First Order is very tiny and doesn't have any other ships or fighters to end the chase. Just a tiny First Order chasing a tiny Resistance, not even on the radar of the bulk of the galaxy. Sadly, the intro text and dialogue/tone aren't in line with such a take.

 


It's PRETTY CLEAR that they're big and powerful, they have vast resources, and there's not much to oppose them other than the Rebels. It's a clear situation, a clarity we never get to see with the First Order-Resistance-Republic as depicted in any of the Sequel films.

 


Hard disagree with the last sentence. I could not believe the First Order was "a large threat" in TLJ, the tiny group of ships incapable of cutting off or using fighters against the tiny group of Resistance ships, completely oblivious to Resistance trsnsports leaving and returning to both ships casually.

 


I'm not sure what could have surprised you, apart maybe from Luke casually throwing the lightsaber aside at the start. The film starts with the knockoff chase from ESB, it has the knockoff training with an old Jedi, it had a group go to a bar of scum and villainy, throw in illegal parking from Spaceballs, add the throne room scene also included in ROTJ and ROTS (a group of Force users enter a throne room and start talking... it would have been genuinely surprising if they all left the room alive, or if Kylo or Rey had died instead of Snoke... killing Snoke was the lazy choice), and wrap it up with the Battle of Hoth diet version.

 

Yeah, I liked Luke using a Force projection. At that point, I liked seeing Luke doing anything at all... after he spent the entire film conpletely forgetting his character development from the original films, and being confused because the old Jedi ways were wrong - because I guess Johnson didn't realize that every single Star Wars film has already indicated that the old Jedi ways were wrong.

 

 

That is unwarranted. Yes RoS betrayed TLJ, but remember that TLJ did everything it could to betray TFA, and it burnt any possible bridges that RoS could have used to recover.

 

One of the few things I enjoyed about TLJ was how it mercilessly tore into TFA. When Snoke reprimanded Kylo for losing to an untrained girl? When he told him to take off the ridiculous helmet? When Rian Johnson did that, he was echoing the internet at the time. He took fan complaints against TFA, and he put them into the dialogue of the film, in order to join the ridicule against TFA while implying that his film would be better.

 

When you call RoS cowardly, you drop the same pronouncement on TLJ.

Siggggggh. I've heard it all before and clearly don't agree. This is why I didn't reaaally want to do this.

 

Yes, I did think TLJ was surprising. Can think of a good number of examples off the top of my head:

 

* Yes, that opening bit with Luke.

* The deconstruction of Kylo Ren's character

* The casual dispatching of Snoke midway through the trilogy

* yes, that force projection of Luke and its willingness to kill that character.

* that it was bold enough to question a lot of series assumptions (Skywalkers are extra-special, the Jedi order is unquestionably a force for good) and also perform a bit of a reset on characters who in more recent iterations had become too self-serious (Yoda's moment in particular was so welcome, especially, after the prequels.)

 

In fact, why am I even trying to justify the claim the film is surprising? Extremely famously, half the internet lost its mind about the decisions the film made about several of the characters (Poe, especially Luke, even Yoda in some cases). Doesn't that make it surprising almost by definition? It's just that my reaction to those decisions was largely positive, while some people had a negative reaction to those decisions.

 

But as I said before I neither need nor particularly want to justify this. I liked it. I thought it was really great. Couldja just believe me and stop trying to tell me why my liking of it is wrong actually?

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6 hours ago, BaronGrackle said:

The film indicated that only some people were strong in the Force, so it wouldn't have worked for everyone


No it doesn’t. That’s only something established in the sequels. There’s literally nothing special about Luke in the first film outside of a willingness to try.
 

Also Vader scene: Either everyone knows magic exists, and you’d be a moron to think it doesn’t. Or everyone would be shocked by a display of magic in front of them. It really doesn’t make sense that everyone’s so calm about it if it’s so rare.

6 hours ago, BaronGrackle said:

In TFA, the First Order was not a credible military threat. It consistently lost its battles against the Resistance. But it pulled off a surprise terrorist attack with a superweapon, after which the superweapon was destroyed.

 
Ummm 🤔 

 

Planet sized super weapon… but not a credible threat? Eh?

 

It’s clear in TFA that they *under estimate* how powerful this faction has become. That’s all. 
 

As I say, you seem determined to try and find inconsistencies, while totally forgiving them in the OT. 

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"The Empire wasn't a credible threat. They had the plans for their ultimate weapon stolen by a small band of rebels, built it with a glaring weakness, and despite the emperor's right hand man being some sort of all-powerful sorceror, they don't seem all that keen on advertising that fact and using it to their advantage given that nobody seems to be quite sure whether he is or not. Also their superweapon gets blown up by a small squadron of fighters and then the best idea they have to retaliate is to build another one."

 

The thing is, if you phrase it right, you can dismantle any character, any device, any bit of lore ever established for Star Wars. And that's not an indictment of Star Wars. It was always supposed to be this pulpy, fun action flick. That's the whole reason for the opening crawl, this idea of a serial drama writ large. That's the reason they didn't really care who the emperor was or what his deal is until RotJ. That's why half the characters are archetypes from old westerns.

 

The only reason people care about the wider Star Wars universe is that it becomes inevitable people will once a work of fiction reaches a certain level of popularity. People have questions, and there's money to be made in answering them. Nobody watched the first Star Wars in 1977 and really cared about who Darth Vader worked for, how many planets the Empire actually controlled, why there's a tentacle beast living in the Death Star's bin, what a womp rat actually is, what the kessel run is and how its completion time can be measured in parsecs, who Jabba is, all this stuff was just window dressing. It was only later when the films became a Big Deal that any meat at all started to get put on those bones, because it really didn't matter.

 

It's "not that deep", y'know? The empire are bad and scary, the rebels are good and wholesome and things go zippy zappy boom boom and everyone leaves having a good time. Yeah, it tries some interesting things within that framework, and it's cool when it does it (I think the way ESB explores Luke's relationship to the force is good. Heck, even in the prequels I think some of the political intrigue is good fare, especially Palpatine's bits, and I've talked about how I think TLJ is thematically interesting) but it's really mostly the zippy zappy boom boom stuff isn't it? And that's okay.

37 minutes ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:


No it doesn’t. That’s only something established in the sequels. There’s literally nothing special about Luke in the first film outside of a willingness to try.
 

 

This is another interesting point. Yeah, in the first film it's never once established that the force can be strong in particular people. In fact, the whole motto of 'may the force be with you' kinda implies the opposite, that it can affect anyone who wants it to. Luke's father was a Jedi but that doesn't really mean it has to be hereditary. The idea of force sensitivity isn't really explored until later. It's another way that this stuff didn't actually matter until they decided it should matter.

 

In the first film the force was just space wizards, it didn't matter how it came about. They had laser swords because it looked cool. It was a more elegant weapon from a more civilised time but their lasers bloodlessly kill enemies while the first thing a lightsaber does is dismember someone and leave blood all over the floor. It was rule of cool and nothing more. Not that deep.

 

The more I think of it, the more absurd it seems to suppose that Star Wars original trilogy had a strongly grounded idea of its own setting. They were absolutely making it up as they went along.

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I love Star Wars yet I hate talking about Star Wars, because the discourse gets heated very quickly. I've seen all the shows except Resistance and watched all the movies and spinoffs and I like most of it. I only really dislike Rise of Skywalker and Book of Boba Fett slightly less than that. I love The Mandalorian, The Clone Wars and Rebels and my favourite movie is Empire. I have a softspot for the prequels despite their flaws and I enjoy a good meme from them. I'm looking forward to Andor because I dug Rogue One a lot and I think this is a great opportunity to explore Cassian's journey before that film. 

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I like Star Wars, but instead of crying like a baby when something set in that world is not of my liking, I choose to ignore it and move on.

 

My Star Wars canon includes all the movies (except Solo and Rise), the Clone Wars 2D animated series (because I don't feel like watching however many episodes there are of the 3D one), the animated snippet from Holiday Special and that's it.

I still have to finish watching Obi Wan Kenobi, but it will probably fit in my headcanon.

 

I don't really feel like watching the rest of the series on Disney Plus, because that's too much work, but maybe someday I will, who knows?

 

Also I really like the animated series Droids, one of the best Star Wars things out there and super underrated

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It was unfair of me to dismiss the perspective that worldbuilding "doesn't matter", but I'm glad I did, because it resulted in a few of you elaborating on the take.
 

In Star Wars, the factions and setting have always been a focus of things I enjoyed or disliked. I hadn't much considered the perspective of not caring about it, as seeing the different groups as mere vessels for the main characters to shoot.

 

The Timothy Zahn books, the X-Wing and TIE Fighter games and novels, the original Battlefronts... in many ways, my favorite characters in Star Wars might have become "Rebel Alliance" and "Galactic Empire". I never saw the films as a narrative about the Skywalker family... I saw the films as a universe of opposing forces, in which there happened to be members of the Skywalker family. That's also why I never felt TLJ had a theme of "the Skywalkers aren't special"... the roles they have in the other films aren't particularly more pronounced than the roles Kylo and Luke have in TLJ, in what is supposedly a vast universe.

 

If a lot of people feel similarly to you guys, it might explain why I've heard criticisms of Rogue One having "forgettable" characters. I loved all of those characters. They were DNA strands of a young Rebel Alliance, which you recall is one of my favorite protagonists in the saga. ;)

2 hours ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

Planet sized super weapon… but not a credible threat? Eh?

 

It’s clear in TFA that they *under estimate* how powerful this faction has become. That’s all. 

 

 

2 hours ago, KestrelPi said:

The Empire wasn't a credible threat. They had the plans for their ultimate weapon stolen by a small band of rebels, built it with a glaring weakness, and despite the emperor's right hand man being some sort of all-powerful sorceror, they don't seem all that keen on advertising that fact and using it to their advantage given that nobody seems to be quite sure whether he is or not. Also their superweapon gets blown up by a small squadron of fighters and then the best idea they have to retaliate is to build another one."


If you guys really do value variety and uniqueness in these films, then you're doing a huge disservice to TFA! I hate TFA, but one of the unjust criticisms against it is that it's just a copy of ANH. Haters say it's simply a worse version of ANH, and I've rarely seen defenders dispute the claim.

 

Do you want to subvert expectations of the themes in A New Hope? Imagine if the Empire wasn't strong enough to have the Rebels on the run; imagine if they had to complete their objectives quickly and retreat before the Rebels overpowered them. Imagine if the Death Star was the only chance they had at making the galaxy notice them... and it was still destroyed by the film's end, leaving them with nothing. Imagine if, instead of Darth Vader, it was someone trying their best to BE what they imagined Darth Vader to be, and failing miserably? And what if instead of killing the hero's mentor and establishing himself as a future threat to the hero, it instead ended with Luke throttling him and leaving him for dead? Would your expectations have been subverted? This was the film JJ Abrams created. (If they had leaned into that, anyway.)

 

The state of the First Order and Kylo at the start of TLJ should have been nothing like the state of the Empire and Vader at the start of ESB.

 

 

2 hours ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

No it doesn’t. That’s only something established in the sequels. There’s literally nothing special about Luke in the first film outside of a willingness to try.

 

2 hours ago, KestrelPi said:

This is another interesting point. Yeah, in the first film it's never once established that the force can be strong in particular people. In fact, the whole motto of 'may the force be with you' kinda implies the opposite, that it can affect anyone who wants it to. Luke's father was a Jedi but that doesn't really mean it has to be hereditary. The idea of force sensitivity isn't really explored until later. It's another way that this stuff didn't actually matter until they decided it should matter.

 

So when Vader says, "The Force is strong with this one", you don't see that as an indication that the Force is stronger with some people than others?

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44 minutes ago, BaronGrackle said:

The state of the First Order and Kylo at the start of TLJ should have been nothing like the state of the Empire and Vader at the start of ESB.

(...)

So when Vader says, "The Force is strong with this one", you don't see that as an indication that the Force is stronger with some people than others?

 

* Honestly, I really don't care about the makeup of the Empire or First Order beyond that they're the reason the stakes are high, and I repeat my assertion that the original trilogy was making up the empire as it went along just as much as they were making up the First Order as they went along, and that I find them to be comparitively flimsy antagonists - the only reason the Empire is more fleshed out is because of the tons of expanded universe material that came out since.

 

* I don't think a single line from Darth Vader during the first film is enough to claim they'd established a clear idea of how the force works. Yeah, you're right, it sort of implies that some people are better in the force than other. But idk, maybe Luke is a quick learner especially good at picking up on the force training he's had, it might not have anything to do with some sort of innate ability and it doesn't really establish that being talented with the Force isn't something that everyone could do with training. In any case, force lore in the first film is at BEST flimsy.

 

But.... again. Please. Stop trying to debate me out of my liking of TLJ. I don't agree, and I won't agree. This is well-worn territory. Every single TLJ-disliker I've ever engaged to wants to turn it into an argument about how I'm wrong to like it and if I thought about it enough then I, too, wouldn't like it.

 

This is exactly why I didn't want to do this, and I don't blame you, it's my own damn fault for engaging with it in the first place after saying I wouldn't. I saw this coming, and did it anyway.

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31 minutes ago, KestrelPi said:

* Honestly, I really don't care about the makeup of the Empire or First Order beyond that they're the reason the stakes are high, and I repeat my assertion that the original trilogy was making up the empire as it went along just as much as they were making up the First Order as they went along, and that I find them to be comparitively flimsy antagonists - the only reason the Empire is more fleshed out is because of the tons of expanded universe material that came out since.


It is fascinating how many angles and generations of people like certain parts of the franchise called "Star Wars". The Expanded Universe from LucasArts games and the novels of the '90s are sort of the main reason I like Star Wars at all. The films are okay, but... that's mainly because they sort of demand respect for the sake of birthing the setting.

 

This might also mark a difference in approach that Favreau and Filoni take in their works, as opposed to Abrams and Johnson.

 

31 minutes ago, KestrelPi said:

* I don't think a single line from Darth Vader during the first film is enough to claim they'd established a clear idea of how the force works. Yeah, you're right, it sort of implies that some people are better in the force than other. But idk, maybe Luke is a quick learner especially good at picking up on the force training he's had, it might not have anything to do with some sort of innate ability and it doesn't really establish that being talented with the Force isn't something that everyone could do with training. In any case, force lore in the first film is at BEST flimsy.


That's an interesting thought experiment. I still don't think the original film supports it, and the following films definitely turn against it, but I confess it's intriguing to reimagine that film with this as a part of it.

 

In recent years, I've grown to respect the initial films in sagas like Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Back to the Future, Rocky, and *gasp* Monkey Island, and I enjoy thinking about how we would see these sagas differently if they were a single standalone.

 

We could wax further on the nuances one can pull from the original Star Wars' depictions of the Empire and Rebellion, and I would love it, absolutely love it. The idea of a series of novels/games focusing on the setting in ANH but departing from the decisions of ESB and ROTJ is something I would just eat up.

 

31 minutes ago, KestrelPi said:

But.... again. Please. Stop trying to debate me out of my liking of TLJ.


Hey, hey, my last post was much more tangential in its shade against TLJ specifically!

Edited by BaronGrackle
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12 hours ago, KestrelPi said:

RoS is one of the most cowardly films ever made.


One more thing: have you considered that RoS isn't particularly "cowardly"?

 

Sure, I hate it for the feel of the film itself. All of my considerations to setting and factions apply here, along with macguffin hunts shoehorned.

 

But what was cowardly?

Edited by BaronGrackle
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14 minutes ago, BaronGrackle said:


One more thing: have you considered that RoS isn't particularly "cowardly"?

 

Sure, I hate it for being lazy. All of my considerations to setting and factions apply here, along with macguffin hunts shoehorned.

 

But what was cowardly?

 

Sure. TLJ removes kylo's mask, and in doing so makes it part of his symbolic rejection of the past, his wanting to move away from the old way of doing things and let go of his silly obsession with his grandfather. By the end of TLJ he's grown from edgy-sith-wannabe to actual credible villain - he's not ALL the way there, but the film was clearly maneuvering him in the direction of being a legitimate threat.

 

It offers this stuff up on a platter and RoS rejects it and just unceremoniously has him put the mask back on and going back to being a Darth Vader stand-in. I think that's cowardly.

 

TLJ offers up the possibility that the Jedi order and skywalkers aren't actually all that important, and that their legend has caused problems, and that the next force hero could come from anywhere. That's the CLEAR message of the final shot where the stable boy uses the force to reach for his broom and look up at the stars. That it doesn't matter who you are. RoS wimps out on this and completely rejects it by the end by basically ending up saying 'no, skywalkers are actually the most important thing in the world, psych'. Cowardly retreat from what TLJ set up.

 

Also cowardly - failing to address the whole thread in TLJ about wanting to move on from the Jedi order as the ultimate force for good, burn the sacred texts. It's not even rejected this time, it's just an important part of TLJ which is just... dropped, ignored. I think that's cowardly, because in order to talk about that they would have actually had to do something interesting.

 

Finally, the whole decision to bring back Palpatine as the main antagonist. They had no confidence in their ability to craft Kylo Ren into a credible villain, or alternatively create a story without an established big bad at its head. Rather than try, they just kind of did a non-sequitur insertion of Palpatine into the story. Lazy and cowardly.

 

I have an appreciation for the things that TLJ set up, which is possibly why I see RoS as a cowardly rejection of that. I don't think comparing TFA and TLJ is similar - TLJ subverts some expectations but it never says 'there's a bunch of stuff in TFA that we're gonna pretend never happened or doesn't matter, we're just gonna do another thing'.

 

Luke throwing away the lightsaber was SO great, so bold, because it's the last thing we expected, it seemed like such a moment, and turning it on its head sets up the mystery that drives that whole part of the film: what HAPPENED to Luke? It also provides an intriguing answer to why Luke was so hard to find in the first film. Kylo putting the mask back on is just 'shrug, I guess I didn't mean all that 'kill the past' stuff in the last film, let's never address or think about it again'.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My first experience with Star Wars was when I was like eleven. I remember wandering into the living room on a Saturday afternoon, and my dad had been channel surfing and landed on a cable-adjacent channel showing the first part of Return of the Jedi. There were the pig guard things, and Chewbacca, and it all looked old and weird and unlike anything I had seen before. My dad wandered off to mow the lawn and I guess I watched the rest of the movie. When I went to school the next week I was amazed that anyone else in my class had heard of it.

 

I guess this was the sweet spot in the early/mid '90s when merchandising for the original films had finished up like a decade ago, and Lucas hadn't started gearing up to reinvigorate the IP. You could get the movies on VHS, and some kids who had older siblings had seen Star Wars toys in a box, or the attic or whatever, but that was about it. Lots of adults remembered the films fondly, but no one seemed to care deeply about them. I was like they were this fairy tale from the 1970s that kids from the '90s were discovering second-hand. That was fun!

 

Then they re-released the films, and as I became a teenager, the novels, comics, merch, computer games, and finally the prequels became HUGE. I was the right age to main-line all of that for a couple of years, and enjoyed it a lot. Now there are several exhaustive universes of Star Wars stuff and it has become inescapable, and I feel grumpy about it. I've probably just out-grown it. But I also feel like Star Wars gets treated like some historical era to be studied now -- there are kids books about the event of the film which read like non-fiction, and I miss it feeling like a weird old fairy tale that grown-ups didn't take seriously.

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1 hour ago, KestrelPi said:

Sure. TLJ removes kylo's mask, and in doing so makes it part of his symbolic rejection of the past, his wanting to move away from the old way of doing things and let go of his silly obsession with his grandfather. By the end of TLJ he's grown from edgy-sith-wannabe to actual credible villain - he's not ALL the way there, but the film was clearly maneuvering him in the direction of being a legitimate threat.

 

It offers this stuff up on a platter and RoS rejects it and just unceremoniously has him put the mask back on and going back to being a Darth Vader stand-in. I think that's cowardly.


(Honestly, I bet Abrams just thought the mask looked cool.) But giving ROS the benefit of the doubt here...

 

Kylo does give his iconic "let the past die; kill it if you have to" line to Rey in TLJ, and it does sort of echo what Luke has told her about the old Jedi Order. For a long time I thought this was a theme of TLJ. But other fans have told me... and Johnson has clarified... that Rey and Luke rejected that mindframe by the time the film ended.
 

Since ROS mirrors Kylo against Rey, while simultaneously drawing them together both literally through their Force bond and figuratively in their journeys for identity (a story element begun in TFA and developed in the other two films with a gradually increasing scale), is it so unbelievable that Kylo would likewise have rejected his "kill the past" mindset by now? He only got rid of that helmet after Snoke humiliated him over it. After killing Snoke and taking his place, is it not feasible that Kylo could likewise reject Snoke's old humiliations, repairing the helmet so that it was both old but also distinct?

 

1 hour ago, KestrelPi said:

TLJ offers up the possibility that the Jedi order and skywalkers aren't actually all that important, and that their legend has caused problems, and that the next force hero could come from anywhere. That's the CLEAR message of the final shot where the stable boy uses the force to reach for his broom and look up at the stars. That it doesn't matter who you are. RoS wimps out on this and completely rejects it by the end by basically ending up saying 'no, skywalkers are actually the most important thing in the world, psych'. Cowardly retreat from what TLJ set up.


This would be a criticism against Rey taking the name Skywalker? Fair enough. I've never liked the name "Skywalker Saga" for the nine films. It didn't exist until ROS marketing.

 

But to be fair, Johnson has said that TLJ rebuilt and reaffirmed the Skywalker name and myth. Maybe Luke felt the Skywalker legend caused problems, but by the end of TLJ he had changed his mind and reasserted the Skywalker legacy to (as conceived by the story) its greatest level of hype.


https://www.businessinsider.com/star-wars-rian-johnson-interview-about-the-last-jedi-fan-backlash-2017-12

"As I worked out that his arc was going to be coming to a place where he does this big heroic act that is going to be spread throughout the galaxy — basically taking back the mantle of Luke Skywalker, a Jedi master, a legend — it just slowly became clear to me that it would be this big grand act. It would be an act of mythmaking. And if there was ever going to be a place in this entire trilogy to give him this emotional moment of a goodbye, this was probably going to be the most emotionally potent place to do it."

 

Consider also the dialogue between Resistance members at the end of TLJ, indicatingcthat Luke's actions here wiuld be told and probably inspire countless worlds to join their cause. One could argue that, since TLJ ended with the Skywalker legend being more important than it had ever been, that the direction had already been set for Rey to honor the surname in some way.

 

1 hour ago, KestrelPi said:

Also cowardly - failing to address the whole thread in TLJ about wanting to move on from the Jedi order as the ultimate force for good, burn the sacred texts. It's not even rejected this time, it's just an important part of TLJ which is just... dropped, ignored. I think that's cowardly, because in order to talk about that they would have actually had to do something interesting.


Wait! I missed the scene myself, but others have told me that Rey secretly takes the Jedi texts herself, right? When Yoda tells Luke there is nothing in the texts Rey doesn't possess, he is being very literal. The texts weren't burned.

 

 

1 hour ago, KestrelPi said:

Finally, the whole decision to bring back Palpatine as the main antagonist. They had no confidence in their ability to craft Kylo Ren into a credible villain, or alternatively create a story without an established big bad at its head. Rather than try, they just kind of did a non-sequitur insertion of Palpatine into the story. Lazy and cowardly.


Yeah, I think they just had no idea where to take the story. I don't take it as a rejection of Kylo as an antagonist (he still served as one until the end, and felt he was using Palpatine for his own ends), but as something else that Abrams probably thought would be pretty cool.

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