Thursday, November 1, 2012

When You Wish Upon A DeathStar...

Karen: This Tuesday came an announcement that shook all of geekdom: Disney bought Lucasfilm for $4 billion! Along with this announcement came the news that Disney plans to begin making new Star Wars films, with Star Wars 7 scheduled to be released in 2015.

So here's the question: what would you be interested in seeing in a new Star Wars film, or set of films? What era would you want to explore? Are there any particular characters you'd like to focus on? Or are you sick of the whole darn thing? Let's hear it.


Andreas Krauß said...

Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Karen.

As to your question, exploring the era after Luke Skywalker redeemed his father seems natural. Also, I'd like to see a trilogy depicting the time between Darth Sidious's rise and Princess Leia's capture.

And, while we're on the topic, Disney could also retool Episodes I-III a bit. While I prefer them to the Original Trilogy, it has some issues. Most notably Jar Jar Binks, a character that either has to GO completely, or else has to be revamped heavily, so that he becomes palatable to viewers.

I wouldn't mind a tighter continuity between the two trilogies, either.

That said, do you people think it's a good thing that Disney bought Lucas? Or do you fear they'll just "disneyfy" the Star Wars Saga?

Edo Bosnar said...

First, I have to say I did a bit of a double-take when I first saw the headline, as I'm rather disturbed by all of the stuff that Disney is swallowing up (just off the top of my head, ABC, ESPN, Pixar, Marvel, the Muppets). What's next? Will it buy Paramount, thus bringing Star Wars and Star Trek under one roof? While they're at it, they should buy Time Warner, too - DC and Marvel would finally be under common ownership...
As for a new set of films - and I'm assuming this means actually continuing the original series, i.e., starting with movie #7 - I can't really get too excited. I'm nowhere near as big a fan of the franchise as I was when I was a kid, and that prequel trilogy really left a bad taste in my mouth.

Andreas Krauß said...

Edo, I think we should give Disney at least a chance. They *are* able to revitalize the Star Wars Saga without disneyfying it, IF they so chose.

And, while I never was a big Star Treck fan either, I'd love seeing them owned by the same "mother firm" as Star Wars, since that means almost certainly frequent crossovers between both sagas.

But why didn't you like The Prequels (Besides Jar Jar Binks, that is)?

dbutler16 said...

Yes, I would be interested in more Star Wars films - as long as they're good, of course! While I would like them to explore the era shortly after Return of the Jedi, there's no way anybody other than Harrison Ford should be playing Han Solo at that age, so instead I will say let's go for a series approximately 20 years after ROTJ, which makes the three trilogies about the same distances apart, in terms of time. I also wouldn't mind something from the old republic, maybe even 1,000 years before the prequels. Or perhaps something exploring the origins of the Sith. I did find the idea of a TV series taking place between the prequels and Original Trilogy enticing, but I don't know if that will ever actually happen. Disney can feel free to ignore the Expanded Universe if they wish, if it makes for a better film, though I'll admit to having bought some Expanded Universe books, though not too many.

As far as Edo's concern about Disney, well yes, it does seem like Disney is buying everything creative under the sun, doesn’t it? Anyway, to anyone who didn't like the prequels, I guess you might say that Disney will do a better job than Lucas has been lately, and to anyone who is just starved for more Star Wars films, this acquisition makes that possibility far more likely. I do think that, regardless of whether or not one liked the Prequels (and I'm lukewarm but have grown from gross disappointment to actually warming up to them) I'd at least say that Lucas probably loves his Star Wars babies and I do think that he put his blood, sweat, and tears into them, even if the results weren't universally loved, and I'm not sure that Disney will put the same care into new Star Wars films. I don't think this will affect the Expanded Universe in any significant way. I do wonder if now we'll get a Blu-Ray version of the original theatrical releases of the Original Trilogy, though.

dbutler16 said...

Oh, another thing about Disney. I think that the whole world is (or will be) run by about 5 megacompanies. Stonecutters, indeed!

dbutler16 said...

One last thing, that is an awesome Monster Montage at the top of the webpage. Where is that from?

Doug said...

dbutler --

I don't know where the image is originally from, but here's where I got it back when I made the masthead:

But, since October is over, it's coming down and being replaced by Kirby!


Andreas Krauß said...

Ah, you folks were concerned not on artistic grounds but because Disney continues to swallow all modern sources of all age imagination/entertainment.

Now I get it. Yes, that's always a problem with multinational companies...

But to return to Star Wars itself. Look at what's in the works:

david_b said...


Sorry, my interest ended when I walked out disappointed in ROTJ.

Perhaps “The Return of Jar-Jar”, anyone..?

Maybe we'll finally see the Limited Tin Gift Box Edition ‘1978 Star Wars Christmas Special’ on Blu-Ray scheduled for release, perhaps December 2015 or something..?

I strongly prefer Star Wars as Star Wars, not 'Episode 4'. I like some of the stuff that's been marketed, but most of my purchases of fan club pics and trinkets are from the pre-ROTJ era.

Hoping for Blu-Ray of the original unchanged films, but not too confident.

That being said, the move to Disney is a win-win for most of the fanbase and especially Lucas, who pretty much wanted to have his clout against Hollywood, and now is comfortably putting his feet up.

He was scarily-brilliant enough to own full-control of merchandise rights to a very risky investment, that changed the world of SciFi, blockbuster movie merchandising forever, and put a battery-operated stick that lights up in the hand of every kid on this planet.

Nothing wrong with that.

And obviously more SW-oriented rides and exclusive franchise merchandising at Disney parks.

Edo Bosnar said...

Andreas, Jar Jar is the least of my problems with the prequels. Mainly, I did not like them because I found the actual stories and even most of the characters largely uninteresting, and all three movies seemed to depend on massive amounts of CGI to keep them interesting.
However, if Disney were to gain control of the Star Trek franchise via a takeover of Paramount, I can see the potential for a really, really awesome spoof movie combining the two franchises. You know, Darth Vader leading the Borg on a conquest of the known universe (I'd love to hear James Earl Jones saying "Resistence is Futile"), two maverick young Star Fleet captains, James T. Kirk and Han Solo, competing to see who can win the most space battles and make out with most green alien babes, Spock becoming a Jedi master by ignoring that sappy New Age Jedi philosophy and instead applying the precepts of Vulcan pure logic, Yoda playing poker with Data, Worf "accidentially" impaling Jar Jar with a bat'leth...

dbutler16 said...

Thanks for the info, Doug. I'm sure next month's banner will kick butt, too. Did Kirby ever draw a THanksgiving turkey?

William said...

I was personally very excited by this news when I read it yesterday. New Disney Star Wars movies are better than no new Star Wars movies at all. (At least I hope so).

As for the movies themselves-- I'd probably most like to see something post ROTJ, and since they are calling it Star Wars Episode VII, it most likely will be.

That said, I hope they steer clear of the stuff from the Expanded Universe novels, as most of what I read of that stuff was basically dreck IMO. Still, it would be cool if they could get Mark Hamill to play Luke Skywalker as an Obi Wan type character who mostly takes on the semi-background roll of mentor to a new generation of Jedi.

It's a safe bet that any movie will have R2 and C3PO in it, since they are basically immortals, and they can use them as the unbroken link to the other films. It would be nice to see Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher play some kind of roll (however small), but I wouldn't count on it.

Hopefully they won't totally screw it up. Heck, whatever they do it couldn't be worse than Phantom Menace I suppose. :)

Mike said...

I am with Edo when it comes to the prequels. I mean c'mon - they made my all-time favorite villian who ruled multiple galaxies with an iron fist into a whiny lovesick little brat -- ugh ... I'll leave it at that or I'll get into a rant.

On Episode VII, if there is no Mark Hamill than count me out. Period.

Doug said...

I personally did not care for Episode 1; I thought 2 and 3 were good, but 3 was a bit dark for my tastes (perhaps necessarily so to make Vader's redemption a bigger deal at the end).

As to the CGI, it opens a world of possibilities to film makers. Now what could only have been done in animation "looks" real on the screen. Yes, the tendency is for films to become a bit bloated, but overall I felt Episodes 2 and 3 showcased how far Hollywood has come in special effects.

Jar Jar Binks may be the worst character ever created. And that's saying something. But, it's a wonder Bendis never found a way to put him on the Avengers -- everyone else made it.


Anonymous said...

Classic piece of venture capitalism asset-grabbing. Gap between buying Lucasfilm and announcing more Star Wars movies? 0.03 of a second. If I worked at ILM, I’d be updating my CV round about now.

Meanwhile, in Alan Horn’s office.
Mr. Horn, have you actually checked the small print of this contract?
Hmmmm. Let me see...blah blah territories, blah blah residuals, blah blah....merchandising rights? Hey, wait a minute....

I wouldn’t mind some more Star Wars movies, but can we please just move the mythos somewhere else and use new characters. It took us nearly 30 years to find out that George actually DIDN’T take the resolution out of the hands of the protagonist because actually the hero of the piece was the villain all along. I don’t need any further back story and I certainly don’t need to see Kristen Stewart cast as Natalie Portman’s mum.

Hi Andreas – did you really just say that you prefer the prequels to the originals? Wow. I don’t have a problem with that; I’ve just never heard anyone say that before.

I share Edo’s concerns about Disney, but given that the Avengers was produced under a post-Disney Marvel, I will give them the benefit.

David – walked out of ROTJ? Wow again. I have to admit, it is difficult to hate Jar Jar but still argue a case for the ewoks.

Last night I saw it announced here on the news. I should tell you that the news here is pretty formal – suits and ties – so it was something of surprise when, having announced more Star Wars, they ended the broadcast with Star wars type credits (words scrolling backwards into space) and the John Williams score, and then unexpectedly cut back to the newscasters, who were having a light sabre duel across the studio. Class!


J.A. Morris said...

I hope Disney gives us an adaptation of the Timothy Zahn trilogy, preferably an animated film. But that's not likely to happen.

But I'm really up for anything post-ROTJ. I like the Clone Wars cartoon okay,lightsaber & space battles are good. And Anthony Daniels doing 3PO is great. But it's hard to worry too much about characters knowing they'll survive the series.

Doug said...

I could easily make a case for the Ewoks over Jar Jar. Cute yet humorously deadly vs. stick a fork in my eye. And that grating speech pattern. And those "ears". And that failed attempt at Looney Tunes slapstick. And...


david_b said...

Ah, when I said I walked out of ROJT, I meant 'after' the film was over. Still disappointed.

Not to be too cynical, but as a franchise entry, Jedi just seemed a bit bloated to me, not having the edge the first two films had (and actually feeling like it's in a franchise by that point..). I recall spending half the movie guessing which characters/ships Kenner was going to push out next.

It's probably just me, but it just had that 'here we go again' feel to it. Nowadays, I actually enjoy watching the ROTJ 'Family Guy' spoof so much more.

Doug said...

By the time Jedi came out I was past the toy-playing age (but still thinking that stuff was cool). But I think it's hypocritical for those of us who enjoyed the various incarnations of our Marvel/DC heroes (whether it be Captain Action or Megos or still later into the present Marvel Legends) to dump on the Kenner tie-ins.

I'll be frank -- I just had a ball building Star Wars Legos with my boys when they were young and discovering the magic of Star Wars for the first time. Seriously -- how cool is it to see a film and then go to Toys R Us and beg, beg, beg for a toy? It's way cool.


david_b said...

Oh, my comment wasn't intented to dump on merchandising tie-ins at all. Quite the opposite, the SW 'franchise' was in full-swing and maximizing profits on property's what it's all about.

I was speaking more of boredom tweaked with commercial cynicism while watching the actual movie.

I was well past any toy-playing age as well, but you couldn't evade ALL the Kenner commercials and the like, not to notice.

What's of interest is Lucas's background struggle to invest in making 'Empire', despite the enormous success of SW. I believe it's covered on the SW Trilogy documentary.

Anonymous said...

Hi david – The Family Guy spoofs were superb. All of them. Correct me if I wrong, but doesn’t the last one start with a weary sigh of resignation from Chris (‘we’re going to do Jedi, aren’t we?) and Peter saying ‘let’s just get through this’ which seems to match your take on it perfectly.

Probably my favourite single bit of Star Wars is in Jedi ( no, not the bikini...down, boys) but the finale where you have the massive scale space battle juxtaposed against the hand-to-hand fighting on the surface of Endor juxtaposed against the mano-a-mano between father and son. It really seemed to bring all the levels of the 3 films together in a giant denouement. I felt satisfied.

Never too sure about Marquand’s direction, but given the other choices were Cronenberg and Lynch, it would have been a very different film if either of them had been let out of the basement. Imagine a Cronenberg ewok or what Lynch would have done with the narrative once he discovered there a massive untapped back story.


david_b said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
david_b said...


You are extremely perceptive, sir.

I also love Peter's response of the 'Cleveland Show' doing the prequels.


Certainly not intending any hijaaking here, ROJT certainly had some good moments, just IMHO didn't match the excitement and momentum (nor any cool surprises..) of 'Empire' or the original for that matter.

Humanbelly said...

As far as the acquisition goes. . .

In college, I did a small Reader's Theater piece from a very short story called, I think, "Mickey Saves the World" (I can probably track down the author, if anyone expresses an interest), in which Disney ultimately takes over. . . well. . . everything. Washington DC is purchased and becomes "Historyland" and the like. And it all seemed hopelessly, comically hyperbolic. . .except. . . except. . .

How much money does Disney have?? What kind of business plan do they have where buying a 35-year-old property for four BILLION dollars looks like a low-risk, high-profit deal in the long run?? Surely they're still payiing for the Marvel deal, yes? Where do you suppose Disney, as an independant economic entity, would rank if it were its own nation?

I bet-- I BET-- their next major acquistion will be one of the fast food giants. If not McDonald's (which I'm sure they'd pursue first), then Wendy's or Burger King or possibly Subway. Cementing their hold. . .

HB (hiding under the bed)

Inkstained Wretch said...

It is hard to top the Plinkett reviews of the Star Wars prequels on, so I won't. The bottomline is they were, bad, very bad and indicated that at some level George Lucas didn't understand what made his own creation great.

Therefore, the solution to making any next Star Wars film good is obvious: Keep Lucas as far away as possible. The ironic truth is that sometimes creators don't know what is best for their own creations.

So in that sense, maybe the Disney purchase is good news. They're hard-headed enough to what is necessary. Of course, that is no guarantee it will be good either. As Yoda would say: "Fingers crossed, mine are."

In terms of a new series, the best thing to do would be to start afresh, the way they did with Star Trek: The Next Generation. Set it in the same universe but with new, different characters and only a tangential connection to the original films. Either it will be good or it won't but if it isn't it won't hurt the memory of the original series.

As a side note, I am apparently the only person on the planet who doesn't loathe Jar-Jar Binks. Not that I really liked him either. He was the film's obvious comic relief and I could simply ignore him. He ultimately didn't matter to plot much. It was the things like the portrayal early life of Darth Vader and the revelation that the Force is actually some form of mutation that annoyed me.

Anonymous said...

Disney isn't just acquiring the Star Wars properties in this deal. They're also acquiring Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound. They know have ownership of the most prestigious special effects firm in the world.

I've never heard anyone say they like the prequels better. Nothing wrong with it, just interesting. There are a lot of things I like about the prequels:

1. Neeson's understated performance
2. The way MacGregor morphs from apprentice to swashbuckler to the beginnings of an elder statesman during the course of the trilogy, while channeling Alec Guinness the entire time
3. The fantastic city-scapes, and the space-battle fx in 2 & 3.
4. The rambling-but epic storytelling scope of 2 & 3.

On the other hand, I'm not about to disagree with anyone about the worthlessness of Jar Jar, or the clunky dialogue, or the whininess of little Darth, or the final insult of little Darth's "Noooo!" at the end of 3. Those are all things that should be improved upn for future special editions.

The first act of Return of The Jedi on Tattione is a swashbuckling classic in it's own right. It holds up great as a movie within a movie.

James Chatterton

Edo Bosnar said...

HB, that's exactly what I had in mind when expressing my concerns about Disney acquiring, well, damn near everything on the media scene and possibly beyond. And I would appreciate it if you could find the author of that short story. Sounds like a good read.
James, you share my view of RoTJ - I thought that first half was really cool and fun, but once they left Tattooine it really went downhill for me.

david_b said...

Ah, the plot thins....:

Ok Mr. DJ, key up George Harrison's 'Taxman'..., as loud as possible.

Humanbelly said...

Found it, Edo.
I had the title right, and it's by Arthur Hoppe. REALLY brief little piece. . . more of a quick satirical editorial/essay that reads like 2-minute news clip. Hmm-- West Virginia was made into "Povertyland", and the establishment of "Disneygrad" set up the entire planet becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of Disney Enterprises, Inc. A dark-ish piece, though.

Hunh. On the facing page of this textbook is a favorite poem: "Ozymandias", which we ALL remember being so brilliantly used in Avengers #57-!

It's all connected, I tell ya. . .

HB (back under the bed again)

Garett said...

Many interesting ideas here. I like the idea of the new movie including Harrison Ford and some of the original actors in small roles.

Haha--Edo I like your Star Trek/Star Wars plot!

I'm a fan of the first 2 movies, thought RoTJ was a letdown. The sequels bored me, and as I.W. indicated, the changing of The Force bothered me. In the first movies it was like Joseph Campbell's "follow your bliss", follow your heart. That spirit was gone in the sequels, and maybe gone from Lucas himself unfortunately. So for me the Disney movies can't get any worse, and could bring back the original spirit of the shows.

I never found Carrie Fisher sexy, even in the bikini, though she acted well in the part.

Karen said...

I guess Star Wars still gets a response no matter what!Thanks for chiming in folks.

Personally I would like to see a series set about 30 years after ROTJ - just so we could see Mark Hamill as Luke, struggling to rebuild the Jedi the way he thinks they should be, as Leia and her associates try to rebuild the Republic.

For me, Star Wars was always about Luke. The original films represented his growth from boy to man, culminating in his redeeming his father. When Lucas decided, no, they were actually always about Vader, that's when he lost me. Then he gave us a Vader that turned out to be a whiny, easily manipulated punk.

I'd like to move away from the Anakin era, and go on and see what became of Luke and the rest (although I doubt we'll ever see Harrison Ford do any more Star Wars movies -he seems to go out of his way to put them down).

Edo Bosnar said...

Thanks HB.
And Inkstained, I basically frittered away an entire afternoon about a year ago watching all those Plinkett prequel reviews. They're absolutely hilarious, and amazingly thorough.

William said...

I third (or fourth) the praise for the Plinkett reviews. For anyone who hasn't seen them, you owe it to yourself to check them out. They are actually more entertaining than the movies themselves.

I agree with Karen that Star Wars was about Luke. When you think about it, Vader had a relatively small roll in the original trilogy, so he was not intended to be the main character by any means?

Garett said...

Yes, Mark Hamill coming back would be great.

humanbelly said...

He's. . . he's not lookin' 100% great, now, mind you. Although he wears a beard well, when he sports one. Has an undeniable "Ben Kenobi" mystique about him. . . !


Anonymous said...

Who knew the DeathStar had mouse ears? :)

But seriously, folks, I think we should give Disney the benefit of the doubt. The same criticism was levelled at Disney when they bought the Marvel comics group yet so far Marvel has done well both critically and commercially.

I was 7 when Star Wars : A New Hope came out in 1977 and 12 when Return of the Jedi premiered in 1983 so you KNOW which trilogy is my favourite. Personally, even though it's early days yet I do think the producers will try to make the very best Star Wars sequels they can make. If they make a bad movie, we'll let them know! Let's not forget that many critics derided Lucas' prequels while he himself was in charge of Lucasfilm. It's a strange coincidence, but some of the worst original Star Trek episodes were written by creator gene Roddenberry himself.

Of course, the inner fanboy in me wants to see the further adventures of Luke, Han and Leia after the death of Darth Vader. It's been hinted in fanfiction for years but I'd love to see Luke encounter some Grey Jedi on the big screen while trying to recreate the Jedi Order. It'd be cool to see Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and yes, grumpy ol' Harrison Ford again, wrinkles and all reprising their respective characters. Heck, even if new actors are hired to play their roles, I'd still like to see them in a cameo.

Also, they could make several movies about Obi-Wan Kenobi in the period between Anakin becoming Darth Vader and the events of A New Hope. That alone could be a whole new series of films.

- Mike 'somebody please feed Jar Jar to the Rancor' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Anonymous said...

I'd like a Chapter Four Original Recipe on DVD please - called Star Wars, without all the extra refinements and doodads that were glued on later.

B Smith

Rip Jagger said...

The first Star Wars movie was a revelation. The second was a thrilling adventure. The third was a reasonably if cheesy finale.

The second trilogy (or prequels) were all very well done. I liked the first best of all, the second was dandy, and third was necessary.

I was happy this story was told in my lifetime, so I could know it.

Now I see this franchise and this series will outlive me. Long ago I gave up trying to keep track of the comics, the novels, the various and sundry whatnots. The movies were great, that was enough for me.

But the new stuff will be fun...I guess.

Rip Off

Andreas Krauß said...

Wow, this thread grew fast.

Edo, you're right: the Prequels indeed went a bit overboard with the CGI.

But that's no different from all those long stretches of mindless starship-battling we had to sit through in the Originals.

And indeed, that's one of the major reasons I prefer the Prequels. The Prequels are a merger between high fantasy, space opera, romance (remember, at the core of the Prequels is a love story, whereas in the Originals, the first "love story" was a false motive, since the Leia/Luke romance was abandoned by #2), and the Solo/Leia romance was secondary, tacked on, in fact, rather than coming out organically, as in the Prequels) ancient politics and corruption.

It isn't just some simplistic space adventure story. The Prequels are much deeper.

I never was a big STAR WARS fan, albeit SW is still far better than STAR TREK.

In fact, I was rather bored with that simplistic good force/bad force stuff, and even more so with all those horrible darth vader fetishists, han solo groupies and Jedi wannabes.

That changed when the Prequels came along. Now we had a deep, mature and intricate story. A true space epic. Gone was the childish Luke Skywalker (although, truth be told, he was gone by the start of SW III, replaced by one of my 3 favorite SW characters, the mature Jedi Master Skywalker); gone was that insufferable Han Solo, that Joda who had mastered the Force, but somehow was too dumb to speak good English (he did appear in the Prequels, but most of his roles there were minor); and so on.

STAR WARS had grown up. Instead of being some beefed up SF serial like the originals, it was now a vast SF novel on the silver screen.

What exactly didn't you like in the story of the Prequels? Even I can pin down the things I disliked about the Prequels. Even ignoring no-brainer Jar jar (boy, do I hope he gets revamped away!), I disliked the fact, that the two droids (who are, after all,the most iconic SW characters, after Darth Vader) didn't act anywhere like as they did in the originals, or that we see Vader only in one scene at the end of Episode III, or that we never find out what makes The Emperor tick. Or that over-long car race. Or that Anakin acted more like he was hypnotized than corrupted.

What exactly was *your* problem with the Prequels? I'm asking because I'm always interested in peaceful and reasonable debating the Prequels vs the Originals.tedtr

Andreas Krauß said...

But I noticed something. All Prequel haters (although I'm not talking about Edo; you were very moderate, didn't take any cheap potshots at the Prequels, didn't antagonize me or talked down in a condescending manner after "finding out" I dared to prefer Episodes I-III, and didn't waste whole afternoons reading bad "reviews" of them to prop up your own hatred of them) seem to hold up the same movie as their "holy grail": EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.

That happens to be the same movie I dislike most in the entire SW canon. Because that installment warped what was a nice adventure story, forced complications on a story that was never designed to carry them: Was there ever any indication that DV was Luke's father, or Leia his sister? Indeed, Leia was designed to be Luke's love interest. Yet at the start of Episode V, we all of a sudden find out that Leia has been gotten close to that space rat Solo, and used Luke only for making Solo jealous? And so on. And, of course, it's the only part of the Originals that can't stand on its own, and doesn't tell a whole story.

How comes that the worst STAR WARS movie, the movie who fits least in the Star Wars Saga as it was conceived by its very creator is nonetheless the film most beloved by fans of the Originals, to the point that they claim "Star Wars is like THIS", even through it destroys the balance of the whole mythology, and stands out of the Star Wars canon like a wart? Can somebody explain this to me?

Andreas Krauß said...

Guys, I *share* your worries about "The Mouse gobbling up the world". But right now, there's nothing we can do about. So why not discuss the new possibilities for SW, now that it's a part of the Disneyverse?

Chris said...

My eight year old boy (who loves all the 6 Star Wars movies) is excited about this.

That's reason enough for me. The films should be for kids and not aimed to please 40+ fanboys. But if they are good, they will.

Plus given the quality of Clone Wars, more Star Wars films without George scripting sounds fantastic.

Personally, I hope they are so successful that the live-action TV series set in the Dark Times (i.e. between Episodes III and IV ) finally gets made. That's a favourite period of mine for RPG games.

Anonymous said...

Oh I am so going to disagree with some of you. I love the fact that the story turned out to be about Vader. All along it seemed that the resolution had been taken out of the hands of the protagonist (THE cardinal sin of good writing), but it turned out that we’d been looking at the wrong hero all along. I also like this is LOTR – we follow Frodo all along seemingly with Sam just tagging along, but ultimately it is Sam who realises Gollum is evil, Sam who protects Frodo, who stops the ring falling into the hands of the Orks, who beats the giant spider, who rescues Frodo from the Orks, and ultimately physically carries Frodo and the ring up the side of Mount Doom. All this time, Frodo pretty much went through a series of bad headaches, being deceived, beaten up, being corrupted by the ring and ultimately passing out at the finish line. Sam is actually the hero of the story, but that is kind of never apparent until the end.

Secondly, we had to see that Vader had good inside for the ending to make sense, but it had to be credible that he turned to dark side as well. So, when you talk about him as a whining child, well, he had to have grievances, he had to feel that he and his mother had been supremely shafted and that life was fundamentally nasty, otherwise he’d be a cardboard cut out. Something had to make sense of the Jedi-Sith-back to Jedi events. That’s just character arc.

Ref. Harrison Ford, I agree with all you say Karen, he does take pot shots at them, but mainly it seems to be more at his own acting & performance ( and Lucas’s direction) than at the finished product itself. Looked at from the other perspective: how stupid would he be to let someone else step into Han Solo’s shoes.

And, of course, he doesn’t seem in any hurry to let anyone pry Indy off his CV.

I also don’t really see that they changed the nature of the Force in the prequels. I know it’s an energy field in the originals and then midichlorians blah blah blah, but all through the original films, the Force is ‘with’ people at different levels of intensity and the midichlorians are just an explanation of how and what that really means.


Andreas Krauß said...

Chris, you are right that Star Wars (or any movie or book or comic franchise) shouldn't cater just to the fans who were there all along anyway. It should be timeless, open to all customers, not just the hardcore fan base. Which is specifically why I don't much care for Star Trek. If you get past the TV serial with Spock & Kirk, it feels to me (and I know the Star Trek characters since 1976!) almost like a jungle.

But I don't think SW should be for kids. I disliked SW until I read the comic book adaption, yet I was already very aware of the saga, having been forced to view A New Hope in 1977, was traumatized by a weapon not only as big as a whole world - a whole moon, to be exact, but still impressive -, but actually destroying a world just like ours, later on viewing Empire Strikes Back and really disliking both the story and the characters.

And even though I could stomach SW after reading the adaption and viewing ROTJ, it wasn't until Episode I came along, before I started to get truly interested in SW.

And The Prequels are noticeably more mature than the Originals. While they can be viewed by children too, they address adult concerns: politics, corruption, unhappy love, romance corrupted and a dogma of "reason" over "passion".

Definitely NOT child entertainment. Which, of course, explain the hatred directed by the Originals' fanboys at the Prequels.

Andreas Krauß said...

Anonymus, I believe the Nature of the Force was quite different in the Prequels. But I also believe the change was for the better.

Before Episode I, the Force was presented as some kind of surrogate god. But in #1, it was explicitly shown that the Force was generated by parasite-like micro-organisms. And it could now be measured, which took all of that quasi-religious nonsense out of its conception.

And, of course, before the Prequels, the Force and the Dark Side of the Force was equaled to good & evil.

The Force's modern conception equals the Force with reason & balance, the Dark Side with overt passions & unbalance. Remember, Anakin wasn't corrupted by his ambition; he was corrupted throug his strong love for the Empress, wich overpowered his reason and left him vulnerable to passions.

Fantastic Four Fan 4ever said...

This is what I was hoping for. Instead of the three prequels we should have went forward instead of backward. I want to see what happened to the favorites of my generation. Luke, Han, Leia, all have children (at least according to the Star Wars novel series) and I'd like to see it reflected in the films.

I know there is a segment of fans that don't want to see the older characters. However if they were in a position of mentoring the next generation of the Jedi traditions and values, it would be a decent film you could take your family too.

George Lucas made three entertaining prequels that repeat the same plot of the original movies. Darth Maul would have made a great adversary to last the entire three prequels. He was eliminated after the first movie. Although you can see him in the animated "Clone Wars", he was the best thing since Darth Vader as a bad guy. Maul was very unpredictable. That leaves a chance for more twists and turns in the drama of Star Wars.

On an added note: The Star Wars calender with the old Marvel covers from the 70's and 80's is still available for a mere $10. If you love the Marvel Star Wars comics of that era, it's a great calender that has large images of the covers!

Garett said...

Andreas, the reason Empire is my favorite film of the series is that it's Luke's coming-of-age story. The training with Yoda, learning wisdom, and also finding out that there's a darker part to himself. I went to see it when I was 12, and stayed for a second showing because I loved it so much!

I don't see the Force as religious, but more of a "finding your inner spirit" that releases great power in your life. The scientific explanation lost the magic in that.

Andreas Krauß said...

But Garett, both "finding your inner spirit" and magic are quasi-religious manifestations. In both cases, you dump the power of God to change your life for the better for some upstart, either an internal one ("the "Inner Self") or an external one ("channeling the Forces of Magic").

And as for the Force being not (pseudo-) religous, welcome to "Jediism":

About Empire Strikes Back. I realize that many longtime fans (in a sense, even I might be called that, since I know the story very well since 1977, and the mature Luke is one of my movie favorites since 1983) love that film.

But I've never truly understood why. That part has far more going against it than for it. Two examples:

1) It doesn't have a true start or ending, unlike New Hope or Return.

2) You need to have seen #IV to know who the main characters are, and you need to view #VI to find out what will happen with Solo, or whether Luke successfully finished his training (if you never saw the next installment, Luke might well have killed Joda in his NEXT fit of immature anger, stubbornness and impatience, for all you knew).

The movie simply doesn't fit in with the other two installments of Luke's saga. Even ignoring continuity altogether (Darth Vader is Luke's father? Really? How comes we saw no hint whatsoever earlier? Leia is IN LOVE with that slimy space rat, Han Solo?? And she is Luke's SISTER?!? What about Luke's infatuation with Laia and her's with him from the first movie?? Worse yet, was about Leia's not so chaste kissing Luke in front of Solo in the second movie? Holy Incest!), the movie uses an entirely different symbolism than the first and third movies, making the middle-part depict a much grittier world than the other two installments.

In fact, it can be said that there are (even without the Expanded universe, the Christmas Special etc) at least three different realities of the Star Wars Universe:

The original Saga (A New Hope and Return Of The Jedi).
This story had a strong beginning and a strong ending but no true middle part, since the movie between the two depicted a world very different from the original saga; Albeit the Return of the Jedi resolves a plot line similar to the ending from the next reality.

2) The Middle-Part (Empire Strikes Back).
The second film played basically in its own world. It ignored painstakingly established core-dynamics between main characters from the first reality, and forced the entire saga (NOT merely the second movie or even just the whole first trilogy-- the ENTIRE saga)into directions that changed it forever.

The Prequels.
Whatever we may think about the Prequels - I love them, many hate them -, but they depict a world both separate and different from what we "knew" about Star Wars.

The Force has now lost its mystique, Darth wasn't that uber-cool hero turned villain but merely a human with clay feet, and so on.

Garett said...

Andreas, you've definitely thought all this out more than I have! : ) I liked the first two films--Star Wars was fresh and exciting, and introduced the idea of the Force, which was great. I like the idea that it's accessible to everyone, all around us as I believe Obiwan said.

Empire was darker, but at 12 I was ready for that. I liked the direction in that movie--the director was an artist earlier in his career and I think it showed. Love the moody swamp scenes, and the unusual "dream" where Luke encounters Vader, kills him, then sees his own face when the mask falls away--it baffled and intrigued me.

Your reference to God--well political discussions were a bad idea here, and religious ones might be too, so I'll leave that one! ; )

Wasn't it revealed that Luke and Leia were siblings in ROTJ? That's a reason to dislike ROTJ, not Empire. I thought ROTJ was too cutesy, and lacked the power of the first two. It's like I'm still waiting for a satisfying third act.

I haven't thought about Star Wars this much in years and can't believe I'm typing all this!

I was disappointed in Empire having no ending, but it makes sense as act 2 in the series. Also second acts are where the dark turbulence happens, so it was a good tone for the film.

The adventure was great too--landing on the asteroid that turned out to be a monster...the snow planet, with Luke riding on the Tauntaun...the intense final battle with Vader, with Luke losing an arm, and being tempted to join the dark side. Plus the moments of humour throughout. "I love you." "I know." : D For me it's an excellent balance of adventure, humour, new scifi creations, hints of romance, and wisdom/ideas.

Andreas Krauß said...

Garett, about: "Andreas, you've definitely thought all this out more than I have!(...)I haven't thought about Star Wars this much in years and can't believe I'm typing all this!"

Don't worry about it. It probably just means that you're like me. When (and IF) I contemplate Star Wars, I do it with great intensity, but usually, there are things that interest me far more, so I rarely get the chance to do it. But if something about SW does pique my interest, I'm starting to drill in. Which is why I have tipped a small essay on this very thread by now.:) But I could never work up this much enthusiasm for "lesser" stuff, like Star Trek.

About God: I talked about Him only in reference to the Force as surrogate god, not because I was trying to beat you over the head with my faith.

And while I can see how politics could be an forbidden topic here, how do we handle it when we discuss Captain America, Uncle Sam or the Justice Society?

"Wasn't it revealed that Luke and Leia were siblings in ROTJ?"
I didn't remember. But when I just rechecked (I went the shortcut and read the summary on Wikipedia), it turned out you were right. I'll have to review the first trilogy sometime in the near future. And I'll have to view the second SW movie again, this time in a more open and moderate mood.

So you didn't like Return of the Jedi? I was rather surprised at reading this, because I liked this movie best of the Originals. But then again, I never took SW that seriously, and thus, could marvel at the Ewoks. Many SW fans just think they're too childish for Star Wars, but I think they were both cool and wonderfully imaginative.

About Empire having no true ending being natural for the middle part... yes and no. Of course the greater series can't be resolved in the middle, but we weren't given any sort of resolution. We were left only with two big cliffhangers: one explicit ("What will happen to Han Solo?" and one implicit ("Will Luke finally shape up and finish his Jedi training right? Or will he bulk again?"). And at least the Luke issue could've been resolved at the end of Empire.

But yeah, the second movie was probably grander (in the space opera sense of the word) than my critical mind made it out to be. As I said, I'll have to review it in a fairer mood.

But I still don't get it why everyone calls Anakin a whining brat (especially considering how hard li'l A. had it from earliest childhood on), but Luke's never-ending nagging is called "coming of age" and a "rite of passage"...:)

Karen said...

In all this talk about why people don't like the prequels so much, I'm surprised no one has mentioned something that I find glaringly obvious: the terrible performance of Hayden Christensen.Granted, he didn't have the best script to work with, but his Anakin is a one-note character, perpetually angry and on the verge of a tantrum it seems. There's nothing particularly likable or admirable about him.

It's only through the animated Clone Wars series that I've seen the Anakin that we should have seen in the films: impetuous and quick to temper, yes, but also a good friend and a real leader. I was never made to care about him in the films. He simply came across as an immature, selfish nitwit who was easily turned into a tool of Palpatine.

Edo Bosnar said...

Wow, this thread really grew after I stopped paying attention. Anyway, I think both of Karen's comments really cut to the heart of why so many of us dislike the prequels: Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader! Who becomes a genocidal monster!) is supposed to be the main protagonist, which is bad enough, but it's compounded by the fact that he's completely and utterly unlikeable - both as written, and as portrayed by Christensen (I even found that 'adorable' little boy who played him in the first movie a tad annoying).
Also, Padme, as sort of a co-protagonist, after being a pretty compelling character in the first movie (one of the few), is relegated to the role of Anakin's love interest and shoulder to cry on in the next two. Contrast that to Leia in the original trilogy, who is first and foremost a capable and feisty Rebel alliance leader. Her romance with Han is a really secondary aspect of her character.
In fact, stepping back a bit, one thing that troubles me about the entire Star Wars movie franchise is the virtual dearth of notable female characters: I'm wracking my brains, but besides Padme, are there any notable women in the prequels (there was that awesome looking Jedi woman who doesn't have any lines as far as I remember). In the original trilogy, besides Aunt Beru in Star Wars, is there any women at all with speaking parts other than Leia?

Garett said...

Hey Andreas, it's true that Star Wars is important or intense for many people, as we can see from the # of comments in this thread. And everyone has their own idea of how it should be "done right"!

Well I appreciate your openness to giving Empire another try, especially when you didn't like it! I'll have to give the prequels another look and see if there's more there than I originally thought. Especially the last one that seems to be the favorite.

Garett said...

I did go back and watch Revenge of the Sith, and found it pretty good! The first half was still slow, with too many talky scenes, but the second half was better and even moving. It made me want to watch Star Wars again, and it's interesting how it gives a different dimension to the original movies now, as we know the face behind Darth Vader. I don't know if I like that extra dimension, but it adds something.

I watched all the originals again--Star Wars and Empire are great, but I'll put Revenge of the Sith above Return of the Jedi, which I find rehashes a lot from the first 2, and is still too cutesy for me.

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