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Saga Did the prequels (or, at least, ROTS) introduce too many new ships/vehicles at once?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by The2ndQuest , Mar 6, 2012.

  1. The2ndQuest

    The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Jan 27, 2000
    Just something I was dwelling on earlier- it struck me that many (though obviously not all) of the prequel ships/vehicles never really made much of an impression as even some of the secondary craft from the original trilogy, likely because they simply weren't given much screen time (many not more than a single scene, let alone multiple films) or were introduced alongside multiple others (so that we rarely, if ever, see them "outside of the crowd").

    Now, TCW has helped a couple of these stand out, but just looking at the screentime in the films themselves, I made up a list of most of the prominent and featured vehicles introduced in a film (I didn't list every single one of them, nor creatures like Dewbacks, nor SE add-ons, and only some droids (the ones that are more like tanks/fighters, not infantry), this is just meant to be an overview) and kinda broke it up into "good guy"/"bad guy"/"secondary" categories to make it more organized (and I'm just generalizing their classifications there).

    Just looking it over, you see the OT being more or less consistent in the 8-10 total range, while the PT ups things to be in the mid-teens for TPM & AOTC, while ROTS has approx a 66% increase.

    Now, IMO, some of that increase makes sense- TPM was starting fresh and couldn't rely on previous film ships so it needed to introduce new fill-ins for the roles of OT ships (droid starfighter=TIE, N-1=X-Wing, Royal Starship=Falcon, Battleship=Star Destroyer, AAT=Walker, etc).

    AOTC had to partially start from scratch since the chronological distance/disconnect from TPM necessitated something of a mini-reboot for both characters and craft alike, as well as introducing the initial Clone Wars hardware. Meanwhile ROTS was trying to show the scale of the CW conflict through variety on each planet.

    And, of course, many are just there to help flesh out the universe. However, for all the understandable facets to that, the more you introduce, the less individual time you have to devote to them (ROTS being the biggest issue- TPM & AOTC weren't so bad, really- though I still think they should have stuck with one Royal Starship throughout the series, nor should they have sidelined the N-1)

    I think a great many of those craft have fallen short of the appeal/recognition they might have otherwise received because of it- something like the V-Wing is practically a blink-and-you-miss-it ship (which is strange, particularly given it's "-Wing" designation) and the various walker variants in ROTS are still kinda overwhelming to me, honestly,

    Am I the only one to have this kind of observation? As neat as it is to have all these "toys" in the universe, I just think it;d be nice if more of them had some more meat to their bones, ya know?

    (and, as I mentioned before- I'm not saying that no craft from the prequels have made an impact- I think it's safe to say that the Gunships, Battleships, droid fighters and, maybe, the Delta-7 & AT-TE have made a decent impression (though the latter two more through TCW))

    (for reference, below is the rough list I did to compare the films)

    "Good Guys": Landspeeder, Millennium Falcon, X-Wing, Y-Wing
    "Bad Guys": TIE Fighter, TIE Advanced x1, Star Destroyer
    Secondary: Blockade Runner, Sandcrawler

    "Good Guys": Snowspeeder, Medium transport
    "Bad Guys": AT-AT, Slave I, Super Star Destroyer
    Secondary: Cloud Car, Nebulon-B Frigate, TIE Bomber

    "Good Guys": A-Wing, Mon Cal/Home One, Mon Cal/Liberty
    "Bad Guys": AT-ST, Lambda Shuttle, Speeder Bike, TIE Interceptor
    Secondary: B-Wing, Sail Barge, Skiff

    "Good Guys": Anakin's Podracer, Bongo, Flash Speeder, N-1, Royal Starship
    "Bad Guys": AAT, Droid Control Ship, Droid Starfighter, Lander, MTT, Scimitar, Sebulba's Podracer, STAP
    Secondary: Bloodfin speederbike, Gian Speeder, Radiant VII

    "Good Guys": Acclamator, "Anakin's" speeder, AT-TE, Delta-7, LA-AT/c, LA-AT/i, S-PHAT
    "Bad Guys": Hailfire Droid, Homing Spider Droid, Nantex Fighter, Zam's speeder
    Secondary: Hardcell Transports, Padme's Yacht, Royal Starship Mark 2, So
  2. MandalorianDuchess

    MandalorianDuchess Jedi Youngling star 3

    Feb 16, 2010
    Nah, it seemed about OK to me. I mean, the Clone Wars are supposed to be the biggest conflict ever, or at least in 1,000 years or so. It would make sense that there would have been lots of construction and new types of ships and vehicles being built, since both the crumbling Republic and the Separatists were going at it with all they had. Scaling back on the number of new ships and vehicles for ROTS would have made the whole thing seemed like just a minor little conflict, imho.

    For the casual viewers, it won't matter all that much because you can still follow the most important elements of the story. For the more dedicated fans, it gives so much more to enjoy through repeat viewings. I suppose the kids who have grown up watching CW will also be excited to catch a glimpse of the ships and vehicles they already know.

    It's a good thing that you are making these comparisons, however. It reminds us that the Galactic Civil War was a somewhat smaller effort, or more of a David vs. Goliath thing, with a relatively small Rebel Alliance commanding comparatively small resources against an Empire that had become nearly all-powerful, or at least gave the appearance of it. The Super Star Destroyer and the Death Stars were also of a size that is probably not seen in the prequels, so the greater size would seem imho to compensate for the lack of more medium-sized ships and cruisers.
  3. Alexrd

    Alexrd Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 7, 2009
    That's true. But then again, it's the price to pay when you have the freedom to portray the galaxy on such a big scope. But even so, there are still some ships that (in my opinion) stand out:


    Queen's ship
    Naboo N-1 Starfighter
    Droid Starfighter
    Sith Infiltrator
    Air Taxi


    Jedi Starfighter
    Slave I (due to TESB)
    Dooku' Solar Sailer


    Star Destroyer (due to ANH)
    ARC-170 (due to similarities with X-Wing)
    Jedi Starfighter
    Palpatine' Shuttle (due to similarities with Lambda Shuttle)
    Tantive IV (or whatever it's name is now) (due to similarities with Tantive IV)

  4. BoromirsFan

    BoromirsFan Jedi Master star 4

    May 16, 2010
    I like the Naboo ships, I think its a shame they didn't get much representation in the post Episode II videogames.

    But no, I played Battlefront frequently, I got a hang of alot of the new ships :D

  5. The2ndQuest

    The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Jan 27, 2000
    It's not necessarily the case that the Galactic Civil War was smaller (although it was certainly less about open warfare on a planetary scale), but it was certainly more uniform. And I'm thinking that kind of uniformity wouldn't have hurt the scale of the Clone Wars being portrayed.

    Eta-2's & Utapau fighters could have easily been replaced by V-Wings or ARC-170s, the Wookiee crafts easily substituted for gunships, the various walker variants with AT-TEs, the non-Invisible Hand seppie cap ships with Battleships (or the Hardcell and Commerce Guild ships briefly glimpsed at in AOTC), persuaders with hailfires, HMPs with either STAPs, Tri-Fighters, Droid fighters or Nantex fighters, etc.

    Do any (or all) of that, and the scale of the CW isn't affected, yet your giving some of those ships more time to shine (or, at the very least, letting the new ships you're introducing seem more prominent, set against the background of familair ships).

    I agree several ships do stand out (though I'm ignoring ones that have carried over from previous films, like Slave I), but I think more would have if the spread of variants and cameo craft had been greatly reduced.

    ...the air taxi? Really? :p
  6. MandalorianDuchess

    MandalorianDuchess Jedi Youngling star 3

    Feb 16, 2010
    OK, let me see if I can rephrase this. The GCW was more about asymmetrical warfare, to be sure, but it was also coming after about 20 years when the Emperor has ruled with an iron fist, and I imagine it has been largely about uniformity and conformity, so it makes all the sense in the world that the OT would reflect that.

    In the days of the PT, there was a lot more variety because the Republic had been a more open-ended system, under which a lot of different manufacturers (presumably) could have prospered; also the Trade Federation and other parties in the Separatist movement would have been cranking out stuff at an accelerated rate due to the Clone Wars.

    That's the in-story explanation. If we look at the question you're probably really asking, once again we are looking at the same kind of question: why can't the PT be more like the OT? To which I would answer, well, because it's not the OT. Because Lucas wanted to create something that in many ways was almost diametrically opposite the OT, while at the same time remaining a part of the same universe.

    I guess I just like it the way it is. There's been so much more time to explore things in greater detail, thanks in large part to the CW.

    Hey!! I liked the air taxi!! :D
  7. The2ndQuest

    The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Jan 27, 2000
    Though wouldn't it make sense for there to be more conformity if this is the first galactic army to manufactured in a thousand years? This is, essentially, the first time a lot of this stuff is being made, so it would stand to reason that there wouldn't be a lot of options to choose from (ignoring, possibly, prototypes, etc).

    That's not exactly the question I'm asking, as I suppose I'm primarily focused on the onslaught of new stuff in ROTS. TPM and AOTC had a pretty steady pattern of introduction- more than the OT, but not by much (and, again, some of that is justified due to the need for substitutional craft and such). It's more about a break in pattern than a direct comparison of the trilogies (though I think the PT would have benefited from more cross-film staring roles for some designs like the OT did).
  8. MandalorianDuchess

    MandalorianDuchess Jedi Youngling star 3

    Feb 16, 2010
    No, because of the rather unexpected nature of the conflict (relatively speaking), it would have sent a lot of manufacturers scrambling and in some case, it probably would have led to a lot of improvisation. Whereas in the OT, the Empire had kept a stern hand on things for 20 years, and the few manufacturers that probably didn't have to obey the Empire would have been making relatively small number of ships and vehicles.

    At least that's my take on it.

    When ROTJ came out, it also seemed to be introducing a lot of stuff all at once. Suddenly we had so many new things (or seemed like it): the A-Wings, the B-Wings, the Calamari cruiser, the TIE Interceptor, the Lambda Shuttle (in the original versions of the films, it first appeared in ROTJ).

    If it doesn't seem like *that* many new designs, in hindsight, well, it made sense that just a few months had passed between the events in TESB and ROTJ. By comparison, the whole galaxy has been turned upside down in the few years between AOTC and ROTS.

    Still makes more sense to me the way they did it. :)
  9. Alexrd

    Alexrd Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 7, 2009
    Well, they did put back an whole sequence in the movie about it. :p
  10. MandalorianDuchess

    MandalorianDuchess Jedi Youngling star 3

    Feb 16, 2010
    Exactly!! It was teh vehicle that was too good to stay in the darn cutting room floor! :p

    I (heart) the Air Taxi! [face_love]
  11. The2ndQuest

    The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Jan 27, 2000
    To be fair, that sequence is more about showing off Coruscant than the taxi itself ;).

    I don't think ROTJ introduced that many- again, looking at the lists I had up there, Jedi introduced 1 more vehicle than ANH and 2 more than ESB, but 15 fewer than ROTS. And one of those was really just expanding on the AT-ST beyond it's ESB cameo role into a featured role (something I'm advocating ROTS could have benefited from doing with another craft).
  12. Lars_Muul

    Lars_Muul Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Oct 2, 2000
    I think that the PT uses certain vehicles often enough to allow for the kind of connection that we have with some of the vehicles in the OT.
    There's no true equivalent to the Falcon, but then, would we really want that? The Falcon remains as special as ever because no other ship gets as much attention in the whole saga.
    Padmé's chrome ships are the closest thing to a Falcon equivalent the PT has and they're definitely memorable.
    Furthermore, Anakin's pod racer, the N1 starfighters, the droid control ships, the vulture droids, Obi-Wan's AOTC starfighter, Slave I, Anakin's starfighter, Grievous's ship and the gunships are all very memorable to me. Slave I wasn't designed for this trilogy originally, but when the Saga is viewed I-VI, that's where it appears first.
    Also, don't forget that this trilogy has Coruscant - a memorable location that we return to time and time again. The OT has nothing like it.

    Chrome - I remember it
  13. MandalorianDuchess

    MandalorianDuchess Jedi Youngling star 3

    Feb 16, 2010
    Well I wouldn't know. All I remember is looking at the Air Taxi and thinking, "Awwwwww so cool! I wanna ride in one!!!" ;)
  14. ezekiel22x

    ezekiel22x Force Ghost star 5

    Aug 9, 2002
    Definitely agreed. The Falcon clone in the Knights of the Old Republic games comes to mind--pretty weak attempt to redo the OT. I'm glad they didn't take that route in the prequels.

    Still, I can agree that it seems like IV-VI game us more opportunities to "get to know" the vehicles. I just pointed out in another thread recently that it might have been cool for the Naboo starfighter to stick around in the manner that Luke had his X-Wing in the originals.
  15. The2ndQuest

    The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Jan 27, 2000
    I think the Royal Starship had the potential to be the Falcon of the PT (it's a chrome blackbird, gotta love that, right?), but they abandoned it after TPM, blew up it's immediate replacement (to which we had no previous attachment to) 2 minutes into AOTC, and Padme's yacht and skiff were practically just cameos.

    If it had stuck around for all three films (imagine if it had been the ship that went to Geonosis & Mustafar? Or even old haggard Watto seeing that ship again after 10 years on Tatooine), there might have been something there.

    TCW tried to give us a PT Falcon with the Twilight, but then they kinda just forgot about it after a bit and stuck to making a thousand Republic shuttle variants to use instead;).
  16. MandalorianDuchess

    MandalorianDuchess Jedi Youngling star 3

    Feb 16, 2010
    I really don't think we needed a "Falcon" for the PT any more than we needed to have a Han Solo-style character in the PT. And I also don't see the need for the Naboo fighter in AOTC or ROTS, because it seems more appropriate that the Jedi Order used something to set itself apart from everybody else, and why on Earth would Anakin have needed to borrow a ship from Naboo? Even in the absence of an "official" Jedi fighter, there would probably have been many more exciting choices in the Coruscant showrooms.

    And that just brings me to another point: Lucas can't catch a break. Seriously. He gets criticized for doing stuff that was too much like an earlier movie (a 2nd Death Star in ROTJ for example) and also criticized for doing stuff that's too different from the movies that came before it. In the eyes of the fans, he's darned if he does, darned if he doesn't.

    There is one HUGE difference between the 2 trilogies: the PT is mostly about people trying to do stuff within institutionalized means (the Galactic Senate, the Jedi Order, the Trade Federation, etc.); the OT is all about rebelling against what has the ruling institution (Galactic Empire), pushing back on the Establishment. The Rebellion isn't an institution and just as the Millenium Falcon could one day not be part of the Rebellion, later on in the movies it becomes part of the Rebel fleet.

    To establish an admittedly awkward and imperfect analogy, think of Cuba before and after the Cuban Revolution. Before it, they had all kinds of new car models, because there were no trade restrictions. Afterwards, because the Castro regime was so totalitarian, ordinary Cubans could no longer hope to have brand-new cars, they just had to keep the old ones going no matter how old and tattered they were; at the same time, I'm sure Fidel and his high-ranking officials could have any new car, limos, etc. that they desired.

    So I can see Lucas wanting to use the changes in ships and vehicles to highlight the changing eras or periods during the entire Saga. It would make sense (to me) to see a more institutionalized use of ships and vehicles in the PT, by all parties across the galaxy, whereas in the OT things had already become somewhat ossified, there was less innovation and a lot of the ships flying around were really a bit clunky - the Millenium Falcon, the Slave I, and even the Tantive IV in this context, become true artifacts from the distant past, from the days before the Empire. But even other things will look a little less smooth and linear, a bit more angular and used up.

    I don't know if all that makes sense to others, but it makes sense to me.
  17. Sword_Of_Goliath

    Sword_Of_Goliath Jedi Youngling star 3

    Sep 22, 2010
    He definitely waited too long to transition visually from PT to OT, and the change happens so prodigiously and fast over EII and EIII it makes a hash of the logic that the ship designs we see in ANH are the same as 20 years before. But that's a nitpick for me. The man had his plate full, he did his best, overall, it's a decent enough match for me.
  18. MandalorianDuchess

    MandalorianDuchess Jedi Youngling star 3

    Feb 16, 2010
    Doesn't seem that way to me at all. The Imperial Star Destroyers of the OT are obviously different enough from the old Republic Cruisers to allow for some degree of slow change over the two decades that set them apart. And something similar, imho, could be said of the ARC-170s and the X-Wing fighters, the Jedi fighters and the TIE fighters, and the AT-TEs and AT-ATs.

    It is not at all unusual for an extremely rapid period of innovation to accompany major armed conflicts, only to have the innovation slow down considerably after the war is over. Think how much was done during WW2 on any number of fronts, culminating with the atomic bomb. And after that, things continued to change, but not quite at the same pace as during the war years. One might even imagine change in the post-war era would have been even slower, had it not been for the Cold War.

    And in the context of GFFA, you can definitely also justify the slow pace of change post-ROTS due to the fact that Palpatine appeared to spend an ungodly amount of time planning the construction of his Death Stars... and probably also a lot of the construction materials in the galaxy ;)
  19. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn

    Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 23, 1999
    Regardless of whether it makes sense in-universe to have so many new vehicles and designs show up at once, in filmic terms, I think it is a bit of an overload. I think about some other generally well-regarded scifi films and their iconic imagery. I realize that they are all trying to do very different things in terms of storytelling, but there is a tendency to restrict the number of designs. Or at least, to direct focus to a few of them.

    Alien, Aliens, Predator, Blade Runner, The Matrix, Avatar, the Original Series Star Trek movies (especially 2, 3, and 4)... each had new-to-the-viewer designs, but even if they had a ton, they focused on a few more than others.

    Alien has the space jockey/ship, Nostromo, Narcissus (which might as well be the same things), and the alien itself (which is a real focus of the film).

    Aliens adds the queen, the APC, the drop ship, the power loader, and the Sulaco.

    Predator has the predator ship (glimpsed for a second) and the Predator itself. In Predator 2, when a whole group of them shows up, it's only like seven guys but even that feels like an (*intentional*) overload.

    Blade Runner has the Tyrell Building, the spinners... maybe Deckard's gun?

    The Matrix has the Nebuchadnezzar and the sentinels. (Falcon and TIES?)

    The original ST movies introduced a lot of designs used throughout the rest of the ST canon, but only a few at a time: II had the Miranda, kept the Enterprise refit from the previous movie, and also had the space station. III introduced the merchantman, the Bird of Prey, the Excelsior, the Grissom, and Spacedock (many designed by guys who had worked on ESB and Jedi, btw). IV had... the whale probe.

    One possibility is that physical models and miniatures, and the difficulty of dealing with them, limited the amount of new designs. But then we have Avatar, which had the Na'vi, their horse things, the panther thing, the dragon thing, the bigger dragon thing, the mechs, and like four very distinct types of human air/spacecraft.

    That's more than in some of the other movies (though my ways of counting are understandably biased by which designs seemed most 'iconic' to my memory), but it's not immense. Maybe more importantly, each of the designs has a function that is easy to understand by analogy to common experiences/knowledge for the audience.

    In the prequels, this is not always easy to discern. In the OT, you had the X-Wing, which was a fighter craft, Y-Wing, which was a heavier fighter craft, TIEs, which were the bad guys' fighter craft, etc. TPM did this well, I think. Queen's ship as courier, N-1s as fighters, droid starfighters as bad-guy fighters, etc. The later prequels threw so many designs in, and so little time was spent with most of them, that they tend to just flash past my eyes without making a ton of impact. Some of them create stronger impressions, but sometimes there is so much going on, with shots at such a harried pace, that it doesn't work like, say, the ROTJ battle does.

    Also note that at the end of ESB, and in the battle in ROTJ, there are actually quite a few unidentified ships in the backgrounds. New designs. But they aren't focused on, so they function well as eye candy or details for devoted fan to catch. In the prequels, often these are everywhere, and while it's not really difficult to keep track of "The good guys" vs "the bad guys," the sheer number of designs makes it harder to form connections with those designs, I think.

    Another issue for the prequels might relate to the design sensibilities. The OT ships were undeniably iconic. Many of the others I mentioned above were as well. (Games like Homeworld were really good at this too.) And quite a few of the prequel ones are also, I think - the Naboo ships, the TF battleships, the gunships, the original Jedi starfighters. But the general tendency in sci-fi design over the past decade or so has been to have more and more organic shapes combined with more and more fragile-looking greebles, to the point where ships seem to be entirely composed of them. Other films and games do this to a [
  20. MandalorianDuchess

    MandalorianDuchess Jedi Youngling star 3

    Feb 16, 2010
    That may be, but imho Lucas has never one to be held back by genre conventions, and he's not afraid to try something different, against the grain, if you will. To me, it is one of the things that makes him endearing as a filmmaker.

    And, like I said before, I think that for casual viewers, the main thrust of the story is easy enough to understand, without having to identify every single vehicle and ship. The Tantive IV in ROTS will be the most important one, for those who have already seen the OT, and a sort of visual anchor that says: "This is where things will connect to the movie you first watched in 1977".

  21. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn

    Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 23, 1999
    Except in this case he'd be going against the grain that he established. All of the films I mentioned came after SW and were influenced by it. (Not to mention general common sense rules that above a certain level of complexity, things get more and more confusing, and that if you flash a bunch of things past the eyes in quick succession, they might not make huge impressions.)

    As I think about this more, it may be the way the designs are presented that gets to me. The ARC-170 is a really cool design, but I get more of a "vibe" from the concept art than the actual film scenes with it.


    Probably because the concept art there makes me interested in the situation surrounding the design, and the design is also in a less cluttered environment so I can appreciate it better.

    As far as experimental and nontraditional storytelling conventions... I love THX-1138, for example, but it's not billed as something that's in a continuous series that has already built up a certain way of doing things. There are series that will throw in an episode that has a different sensibility - the art deco episode in Fringe, the TOS flashback episode in Star Trek DS9 - but in both of those cases there are a ton of other episodes, and the style is clearly set off to be different. In AOTC and ROTS, neither of those are the case. If Lucas had gone with his 1978-era idea to have each film have very different sensibilities, or even each trilogy have them, I could get on board more easily. But that's not exactly how it works.

    And like I said, all of this is not necessarily bad, it just wasn't as effective for me.
  22. Lars_Muul

    Lars_Muul Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Oct 2, 2000
    GL may have influenced a lot of sci-fi directors with the OT, but that doesn't mean that they fully understood his vision. He was thinking realistically, that's all there is to it.
    That being said, I still think that the PT put as much emphasis on certain vehicles as the OT did. Not counting the Falcon - I feel that Coruscant, and possibly Naboo, served that function.

    Planets - they are vehicles
  23. MandalorianDuchess

    MandalorianDuchess Jedi Youngling star 3

    Feb 16, 2010
    Yes, absolutely! A lot of what he does in PT is precisely about that. Which is something that oddly enough, a lot of people apparently still don't get.

    But perhaps that is *exactly* the point of it. Maybe you get enough of a sense of things being way more complicated than you're used to, in order to give you some idea about the complexity of the events and the somewhat overwhelming element that there was to it. I mean, it makes a lot of sense to me that this might have been deliberately done in order to keep things from being a little too tidy in ROTS, which would make them probably more predictable.

    I don't remember if I'd already seen photos of it before I watched the movie, but just as soon as I saw it, I knew right away that it was supposed to be some kind of predecessor to the X-Wings of the OT. I didn't really need to stare at it for a long time to "get" why it was there and what purpose it served by being there.

    Don't really agree with that logic, either. Each of the 2 trilogies have certain elements that are fairly consistent. Just because element A or B is consistent throughout the OT, however, doesn't mean it should be exactly the same in the PT, because then it just becomes utterly symmetrical and totally predictable. The events in each trilogy are some 20+ years apart, give or take. It makes sense, to me, anyway, that the things in each trilogy would have quite a bit of variation, and even some unpredictability. What is the fun in watching a 12-hour saga where every single bit of information is spoon-fed to you, where everything is perfectly predictable because it follows a very simple (or simplistic pattern? That's not art, that's the kind of by-the-numbers storytelling that modern Hollywood confuses with original and intriguing stories that are well told.
    In a movie that is still aimed primarily at younger viewers (even with the PG-13 rating), somehow I don't think that would be a huge issue to the majority of viewers... it's one of those little details that most people won't even give a 2nd thought, imho.
  24. The2ndQuest

    The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Jan 27, 2000
    It's not so much "identify every single vehicle and ship" as "identify with" them (at least most of them).

    I wouldn't suggest the Jedi use them (although it might have been interesting if an upgraded/later model of the N-1 (...N-2, presumably) had been adopted into wider, non-Naboo, use after their successful performance at Naboo) but they could have been brought into the conflict by others (Naboo could have an interest in sending them as support for the just-launched-and-incomplete Republic forces to help rescue Padme, for example).

    I'm not criticizing Lucas for that at all. I have no problem with having designs being different from anything, it's simply the quantity breaking the pace/precedent he established over the course of the previous films.

    And in there I think is something very, very interesting to analyze- could there be a quantity threshold to an audiences' connection to new designs being introduced in a film?

    Because, if we hypothetically accept the suggestion (and I'm not saying you must, this is just an example), that ROTS introduced too many new designs at once, then "25" is beyond that threshold. And if we find AOTC's level to be acceptable (whether or not it'd be ideal compared to previous films would be up for debate), then we now know the threshold is between 15-25.

    And while no rule is absolute in art and film, finding the sweet spot (which isn't necessarily the "have gone too far" threshold, but rather something optimal prior to it) might be an interesting guideline to apply to the genre.
  25. MandalorianDuchess

    MandalorianDuchess Jedi Youngling star 3

    Feb 16, 2010
    Well, personally I don't see any need to identify "with" the ships. They're just ships, they just serve a function, usually to get people back and forth, and occasionally also for offensive or defensive capabilities. I don't see them as ends in themselves, just as means to an end (which is still advancing the story).

    I know as kids we may have been incredibly fond of some of the older ships, but honestly, I don't see why it would have bothered me, even back then, if there had been a lot more different ships in the movies. But that's just me.

    Well, I just didn't see the need for that. The GFFA is supposed to be a pretty big place, after all, and there's already an awful lot of connections between all the main characters so that I don't really need to see the same kind of "intimate connections" being established with the vehicles, as well. To me it would just be overkill.

    But why would Lucas *want* to follow some previous pattern when it goes against his storytelling instinct? There must have been some very specific reasons why he wanted to do it this way. I've already guessed at a couple possible explanations. But, whatever it is, it actually makes the movie more enjoyable for me. Especially in the opening battle, where there are so many ships that it is hard to recognize them all. I liked that a lot better than in ROTJ, where you can always identify the fighters because there's only 5 or 6 models in total.

    I don't really have any reason to believe that to general audiences, it made a huge difference whether or not there were 25 new models or just 10. To me, since I'm more of a fan, it seemed to make the universe even richer, to make it seem like the Clone Wars were full of all kinds of incredible things that sometimes seemed too many to count.

    To me personally, I think it's always better to have a lot of stuff in a movie where the things aren't absolutely necessary to make sense of the story than to have too few. I think the showman in Lucas really wanted to make it one of the richest episodes, in terms not just of ships and vehicles, but in all others as well. There also seemed to be an incredible variety of different color-coded clone troopers, even though in the OT we'll go back to having all Stormtroopers having white uniforms.

    I think the complexity and increased number of visual elements puts ROTS in a class all of its own, to me it is something to enjoy rather than something that would work against the film.