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Saga A Different Feel Between Trilogies?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by hanshotfirst87, Feb 25, 2011.

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  1. Jedsithor

    Jedsithor Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Oct 1, 2005
    Yes there is a different feel between the trilogies and it's entirely deliberate. It's all about the story.

    The prequels take place in the heart of the Republic. It's crisp and clean but the aesthetics only serve to paper over the cracks. The Republic is dying, corrupted from within and the prequels are basically about the gradual decline of the Republic. The Senators and Jedi are at the heart of Republic affairs. It's only when we visit Tatooine that we realise for the first time that the Republic isn't as effective and functional as they would have you believe. But Coruscant is at the heart of the prequels. What happens there affects the rest of the galaxy. The Clone Wars take place all over the galaxy but it is a war shown through the eyes of the central figures in the Republic and Confederacy.

    The original trilogy is set in the fringes. It's a small group of rebels battling an Empire after 20 years of dictatorship. Coruscant is a distant memory. Everything is dirtier, grittier, there's no hiding the poisonous nature of the galaxy anymore. Compare the first worlds we see in The Phantom Menace and A New Hope. In Phantom Menace we see Naboo, a planet with great beauty, fields of green, cities made to be beautiful. It is the image of paradise, a paradise that is quickly overrun by the uniformity of the droid armies, a glimpse at things to come with the Empire. Now look at A New Hope. The first planet we see is Tatooine. A lonely, desolate place with no hope, no function in the wider galaxy. It's is backwater planet that nobody cares about or pays much attention to. There is no beauty here, only a struggle to scratch out a living.

    The different feel is completely intentional. They feel like different galaxies because in many ways they are different galaxies. The feel of the OT is a direct result of what happens in the PT.
  2. TH_421

    TH_421 Jedi Youngling

    Aug 12, 2011
    A different feel? Yes.

    Recall Ben Kenobi's reminiscense on the lightsaber: "Not as clumsy or random as a blaster. A more elegant weapon, of a more civilized age."

    What the PT needed to show us was elegance and civilization. It is no mistake that the capital world of Coruscant featured prominently in all three films, underlining civilization in both its positive and negative lights, and Naboo was the very heart and soul of a flourishing culture of elegance. By contrast, the most civilized and elegant setting we are introduced to in the OT is Cloud City - a place with aspirations toward elegance, but still merely a small mining colony able to avoid guild oversight or Imperial entanglements.

    So the PT had to have a different feel. We had to know what the Jedi had been defending for a thousand generations, what was lost other than abstractions such as freedom or democracy. This is in large part why the Naboo funeral in the closing montage of RotS is so moving for me, why so brief an appearance of Naboo's queen, without dialog, seems to me so effective. To transition to our sole glimpse of Alderaan plays upon this same thing. We don't get the same exposure to Alderaanian culture, but we don't need to. We are told without words that it is essentially like Naboo. This will make its destruction in ANH that much more callous.

    But the linking environment across the saga is Tatooine, and the moment that is the effective bridge between the PT and the OT is Beru and Owen receiving infant Luke from Obi-Wan. As little as we have seen of them in AotC, it is enough paired with the final scent in RotS to make their death in ANH hit us much harder than it could have in 1977.

    Yes, the trilogies are different. They should be. But I personally had no trouble accepting the PT for what they were - Star Wars movies. The difference worked for me. Both the difference and the similarities gave the OT, and most of all ANH, a layer of depth behind its (Luke's) naivety that made it a stronger film.
  3. Cryogenic

    Cryogenic Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 20, 2005
    Heh. 10/10 for bluntness. I think the prequels, in some senses, can be more accurately likened to the smell of new carpet, which I would like to claim as my own, but was actually made by that crafty MSTRMND fella --> (Indeed, look at all the carpet in PT scenes, versus Leia's taunt to Chewie: "Would someone get this walking carpet out of my way?!"). Likening them to bantha poodoo on multiple sensory planes ("looks, feels and smells") is, too, I dunno, organic a reference? It sorta misses that sleek, plasticized feel of the movies, I think; even if it zones in on the contempt many have for them. Now, you also call the first two movies "magical", which is interesting. "Magical" is an undefined term, but if I'm allowed to guess at some of the qualities you seem to ascribe to the earliest entries, you probably feel they have an awesomeness and a solidity, for want of a better description, lacking in the others. I do find it fascinating how often ANH and TESB, or "Star Wars" and "The Empire Strikes Back", are paired up, like a perfect couplet. I guess, without wishing to get too "political" about it (religion and politics occupy much of the same space), it's similar to the way the first two books of the Bible -- Genesis and Exodus -- are given a kind of primacy, reverentially regarded as, for the most part, laying the cornerstones of the Judaic, Christian and Islamic faiths, before all the disagreement about prophets and messiahs kicks in. In many ways, these are the "fundamental" books on which one can build multiple (conflicting) ideologies, by subjectively choosing to acknowledge their "historicity" and "truth", to one extent or another. Again, most of the dissent comes later. Fascinating, in a sense, how Lucas did that (post hoc): two movies regarded as near-perfect, not one, but two, and then, the rest.

    I'd never quite looked at Cloud City in those terms before: a place with, as you say, "aspirations" toward elegance, yet still small and relatively insignificant, looking to validate itself, or merely survive, one should probably say, in the shadow of larger beasts. So, in a way, it's TESB that, once again, helps to establish certain precedents that would come to play a bigger role in the PT. How interesting, then, that Vader personally goes there, at all, much less to inflict pain and suffering, in order to lure his prize. And look how easily Leia and Han accept the opulence of the place itself, if not Lando or his motivations. By contrast, Luke practically gasps when he says to Yoda, "I saw a city in the clouds!" because Luke is the naif, the neophyte, the land-locked traveler, who spent all his youth on one and only one planet, while Han and Leia roamed the galaxy, on extra-legal missions of smuggling and subterfuge, respectively. Of course, once Luke gets to Bespin, he's all business, with rescue -- or, perhaps more truthfully, vengeance -- on his mind. Almost everyone is a nomad in Star Wars, or becomes one. Wealth only stands out until it doesn't. So, there may be a different feel between trilogies, but they have much in common, underneath.
  4. CoolyFett

    CoolyFett Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Feb 3, 2003
    Its good to read stuff like this.
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