Lit Eleven-ThirtyEight and stuff

Discussion in 'Literature' started by CooperTFN, Jul 8, 2013.

?

Well?

I don't care 15 vote(s) 17.0%
Hm, neat 38 vote(s) 43.2%
OMG COOPER IS MY HERO 35 vote(s) 39.8%
  1. Solent Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 2001
    star 2
    In the sense of WTF-is-the-writer-thinking reactions they´d made far worse than Lucas, yet they aren´t mocked at every turn. For instance, IMHO, Gimli is a far worse attempt at comedy than JJ, with the added problem of being a character that was far more competent in the original work, but you know who´s the staple of annoying sidekicks.
  2. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    But no one cares as much because if they don't want to read/watch it - they don't have to.

    That's what I see as the main factor at work here.
  3. Solent Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 2001
    star 2
    Don´t know, I think it goes beyond that. It´s like most people have an inmutable idea of SW and reject anything that changes it even the tiniest bit. Years ago I read a funny article about how SW fans don´t like the films, but their idea of SW itself. At least movie -wise, some of the things that got mostly good critics in the former EU amaze me.

    BTW, wasn´t there an original version of the OT edited some years ago? Asking, don´t know.
  4. Gamiel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2012
    star 5
    Any examples you remember?
  5. Solent Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 2001
    star 2
    Mostly Zahn´s. Sends OB1 away, Mara overshadows Luke at every turn (not to mention when Leia of all people apologizes to her for ruining her life by killing the Emperor - Alderaan anyone?), Thrawn´s superpsychology combined with his stupid evil balls. Later on how soft dictatorships functioned better than democracy, SW is definately not the place for that idea.
  6. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Was that the "Star Wars fans hate Star Wars" essay?
  7. Solent Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 2001
    star 2
  8. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    PT seemed to be hammering home the notion that democracy can end up corrupt.

    Lucas:

    http://partners.nytimes.com/library/film/032199lucas-wars-excerpts.html

    LUCAS. The United States, especially the media, is eating its own tail. The media has a way of leveling everything in its path, which is not good for a society. There's no respect for the office of the Presidency. Not that we need a king, but there's a reason why kings built large palaces, sat on thrones and wore rubies all over. There's a whole social need for that, not to oppress the masses, but to impress the masses and make them proud and allow them to feel good about their culture, their government and their ruler so that they are left feeling that a ruler has the right to rule over them, so that they feel good rather than disgusted about being ruled. In the past, the media basically worked for the state and was there to build the culture. Now, obviously, in some cases it got used in a wrong way and you ended up with the whole balance of power out of whack. But there's probably no better form of government than a good despot.
    SCHELL. And, in a sense, is that what you're trying to be here at Lucasfilm?
    LUCAS. Possibly. Yeah, at least in my little kingdom. But I rule at the will of the people who work for me.
    SCHELL. But let's say you have a leader who's only pretty good and does some shady things. Do you think that the media should be more discreet about investigating and looking into what he is doing? Basically, do you think certain things should be off limits in order to maintain the heroism of a leader?
    LUCAS. Yeah, I do. I think that the media should look at the situation in the larger sense -- at what is necessary for the culture as a whole rather than exposing and tearing everything down all the time. That will not bode well for people's confidence in the institution. After all, a society only works on faith. If you lose that faith, then your society will crumble and it will be hard to get a consensus on anything.
    SCHELL. But isn't that a slippery slope, one that quickly leads to what we have seen in countries like the Soviet Union and China, where in the name of positive role models it becomes unacceptable to criticize the leaders or the country?
    LUCAS. That's sort of why I say a benevolent despot is the ideal ruler. He can actually get things done. The idea that power corrupts is very true and it's a big human who can get past that.
    SCHELL. Confucius said that the good ruler should rule so that the citizens bend before his moral suasion like rice seedlings before a breeze.
    LUCAS. You try to keep people from being used or abused and listen to their grievances and try to do what is fair. Some people get upset because they want everything. Some people feel that they deserve to have everything, even though there's no reason for it. They just feel it's their right. That's one of the problems of a democracy. You get these individual voices that are very loud, and very dysfunctional. And if you cater to those voices, you end up with a very dysfunctional society.
    Valin__Kenobi likes this.
  9. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1999
    star 6
    [IMG]
    Last edited by CooperTFN, Aug 15, 2014
  10. Solent Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 2001
    star 2
    Good despot is an oximoron. Even though at times it looks democracy´s only advantage above dictatorships is that you can protest without being sent to jail, tortured and executed.

    Padmé is likely the only pure good character in the PT and her beliefs are clear.
  11. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1999
    star 6
    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner.
  12. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Fixed.
  13. Solent Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 2001
    star 2
    And I thought I was cynical.
  14. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Come on, who wouldn't want to live under Lord Vetinari?

    Oh wait.... he doesn't exist.
    Grievousdude and Solent like this.
  15. Solent Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 2001
    star 2
    OK. Point taken.
  16. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Lucas did himself a lot of damage with that interview - it's the stuff PR agents have nightmares about.
  17. themetresgained Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2013
    star 4
    Careful Coop, you sound like a libertarian... :p
    Democracy without liberalism (and foundational documents like a Bill of Rights or a Constitution) is indeed pretty terrible.

    Yes, I think you're right. But I can also think of ways that the theatricals were improved upon - Luke meeting Biggs right before the Battle of Yavin so that it actually means something to the audience when Biggs gets shot down, for one.
    I consider the VHS special editions to be 'my' Star Wars.
  18. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Yeah, there's some things the SE add that are really good but they tend to get eclipsed by the howlers, like the eternally running Han/Greedo shot first debate! I really liked the additional dogfights for the Death Star attack and the Biggs scene is a neat touch.
  19. Solent Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 2001
    star 2
    I never got the fuss about Greedo getting a shot at Han, it´s not like they added Han staring extra seconds at him, but that Greedo wasn´t completely taken by Han´s stalling him. The change didn´t demote the hero, but improve the villain (a bit, he shouldn´t have gloated at all before firing).
  20. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    Jul 8, 1999
    star 6
    I don't mind Greedo firing, I mind him missing a guy that's three feet away.
  21. Solent Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 2001
    star 2
    Yep, Han´s dodge was awkward looking, but I think most people are annoyed that it left clear Han couldn´t have talked his way out of it. For some reason showing he wasn´t too a casual killer is a loss of badassitude for many people. Personally I like heroes acting heroic though, rather than being the guy fighting on the main character´s side.
  22. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Thing is, to me, Han shooting Greedo, both in the way he does it and his response to Wuher, sets up his arc to become more heroic by showing him as decidedly not right there and then. That's his starting point. Have Greedo shoot first and that's undermined.
  23. Zeta1127 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 4
    Its not like Greedo wasn't going to shoot Han, so he was defending himself.
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  24. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    The point is that Han's willing to shoot first, not simultaneously. Han getting his blaster ready so he can shoot back once Greedo starts shooting at him at point-blank range is suicidal. And if Han is getting his blaster ready to shoot first but only fires after Greedo is able to get a shot off, it means Han is too slow, which defeats the purpose of showing him as a gunslinging badass.

    The entire point of the scene is that Han is clever and worldly enough to trick Greedo into talking while he gets his hands on his blaster and shoots Greedo so that Greedo cannot take him in to Jabba. Greedo may have gotten the drop on him, but Han outsmarts Greedo by getting the drop on Greedo in return and proactively defending himself (also the idea that a hero has to wait to be shot at first, as if this is some eighteenth-century duel or something, is absolutely idiotic. "Only VILLAINS use the advantage of surprise!" There is no "fair play" in a life-and-death situation. "Good guys" don't wait around to get shot so they're allowed to retaliate, and hope they survive it). If Han doesn't get the drop on Greedo -- if he only reacts to Greedo's shot -- that eliminates all that and only makes Han a guy who is lucky enough to avoid getting shot at point-blank range, and also stupid enough to tip the guy off to fire first too.

    That's the point of the scene. Han outsmarts Greedo and gets the drop on him. If Han doesn't get the drop on him, the scene has no point. Or rather, it has lost its previous point, and had a new, vague one substituted, in which the scene now exists only to tell us, not that Han is a clever, capable, dangerous guy, one who fits into the rough, bloody world of the Fringe, but that he's moderately capable of survival in the Fringe. Whoop-de-****ing-doo.

    It's like the difference between Indiana Jones shooting the guy with the sword and Indiana Jones seeing the guy with the sword and running the other way. "But what's the difference?" you say. "He saw the guy with the sword and didn't fight him, either way! Now he's not UNHEROIC for shooting a guy who was trying to kill him but didn't have the same weapon which is totally UNFAIR!" Well, one way he's smart enough not to fight the guy, and pragmatic enough to think quickly about his assets and shoot a guy who's trying to murder him. The other way, he's smart enough not to fight the guy, but by just running away, it changes what is suggested about the character. Not just the hint of reasonable fear, but the loss of the outthinking element. Instead of being a guy who figures out a way to beat the other guy at his game, he becomes a guy who just avoids the game. Rather than showing Indy getting one over on a guy who seemed to have him beat, it becomes just another random incident in the string of chase scene incidents and doesn't establish anything larger. Or perhaps you might say it's the difference between Indiana Jones lucking into the big mechanic's loss of situational awareness of the plane's props, and Indiana Jones punching the guy out and throwing him into the props. "What's the difference? He wins the fight!" Well, one way he overpowers his opponent, the other way he's overpowered but is luckier and smarter than his opponent. Played the right way, the scene helps establish that Indiana Jones is a guy who isn't so superheroically, overpoweringly manly that he can outfight all his enemies, but rather that he's tough, smart, and lucky, and he wins by overcoming the odds rather than having the odds always in his favor. Change the scene, and you change what it says about the character. It's the same way here. Change the scene, you change what it says about Han. You lose something the scene was originally meant to establish.
  25. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    Han Solo adheres to Chiss ethics.
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