~ESSAY CONTEST WINNER: "TWO AUDIENCES, TWO SPIRITS"~

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by DBrennan3333, Dec 28, 2004.

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  1. DBrennan3333 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2004
    star 4
    INTRODUCTION:


    The original Star Wars trilogy was explicitly designed to please the common man. The new Star Wars trilogy is explicitly designed to please the Star Wars fan. Therefore, it is inevitable that the two trilogies have vastly different spirits.


    Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, R2-D2, C-3PO?.all these characters have the same names as they did in the original trilogy, all of them look the same, but somehow they?re just not hitting the same notes with the public as they used to. It is the thesis of this study that the different tones of the two Star Wars trilogies are the byproduct of intentional, conscious choices George Lucas made in response to changes in the marketplace.


    It?s important for the thesis of this study that we put a quick end to the transparent lie that George Lucas is guided by some ?singular vision? of the Star Wars world. He?s not. By now the Star Wars movies have had so many different versions that the average Kentucky high school graduate couldn?t count them all. If Star Wars were a man, he?d be going through a bigger identity crisis than Michael Jackson in the middle of a race riot.


    The prime victim of George Lucas?s ever changing ?vision? is the very first movie in the series, Star Wars: A New Hope. There have been at least four U.S. versions of this.[1] (But hey, only three of them were ?definitive? versions!) The rolodex-list of changes to this poor movie - special effects made and unmade, actors added and dialogue erased - are more than enough evidence to prove that George Lucas has got no definitive ?vision.? Just to be sure, though, Lucas himself gave an accidental confession when, on the DVD audio commentary for Return of the Jedi, he talks about the unceremonious death of the character Boba Fett. ?Had I known he was going to turn into such a popular character I would?ve made his death more exciting.? Lucas continues, ?I contemplated putting in a shot where he [survived his death to please fans of the character.]?


    If that?s a ?singular vision? then Alaska has ?a little bit of snow.?


    It is overwhelmingly clear that the Star Wars movies have not been made to suit some mystical vision of George Lucas?s. No, both trilogies were made to suit a target audience. The difference in spirit between the old trilogy and the new trilogy is caused by who that target audience is?.


    THE ORIGINAL TRILOGY:


    In 1977, when the 20th Century Fox marketing department was deciding how to advertise their summer releases, the paperwork for Star Wars probably looked like this:


    Movie:
    ?Star Wars?

    Target Demographic:
    EVERYBODY!





    Lucas attached the following quote to each copy of his original screenplay for Star Wars[2]


    I have wrought my simple plan

    If I give one hour of joy

    To the boy who?s half a man

    Or the man who?s half a boy


    This quote, echoed from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, laid clear Lucas?s ambition to please not just ?males between the ages of 18 and 30,? not just ?children over the age of 6 but under the age of 13.? George Lucas wanted to please everybody.


    All three movies in the original trilogy - Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi - were designed specifically to please the people of Norman Rockwell?s Main Street as well as the people of Greenwich Village?s coffee houses. Lucas wanted to bring a smile to gruff lumberjacks but also to gentle poets.


    He wanted to please the common man.


    Creating a work that is universally appealing is no easy task. So Lucas did what most people in Hollywood do when they?re in a bind, he copied somebody else?s work.


    Lucas modeled Star Wars after mythical classics. The Odyssey, The Legend of King Arthur, and Beowulf have all been acknowledged as source material for Star Wars.[3] Lucas was striving to achieve the same populist ends with his story as these myths achieved with theirs, and so he made a conscious effort to have the original trilogy follow in their footsteps. Star Wars, therefore, is a second generation fable. You could call it a neomyth


    The
  2. severian28 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2004
    star 5
    I respectfully disagree. I feel in someways Lucas may have deployed a few less than honorable methods(to OT vets) to lure in a newer demographic, but to classify EVERY person you define as a fan-boy as a week by week fad follower would greatly eschew your statistics of who truly in there hearts feel the symbiance of the entire Saga. Many younger people I know fervently love SW from home viewings.
    In fact I believe that Lucas wisely utilized his mega earnings from TPM to deliver what the original fan was dying to see in AotC. Crisp, seamless s/f/x that, up to the present date has most viscerally connected us to the storyline of Anakin Skywalker - the man who would be Darth Vader - a despotic villian whose orphaned son would lead the rebellion that would inexorably bring the two into a dramatic confrontation to the death. The storyline was ALWAYS there - from the OT. You can apatheticly apply fiscal reminders to the situation of the PT, but the fact remains that WE, and thats EVERYONE that was around to see the OT wanted to see these movies made more badly than any targeted market that you speak of.
    How it was perceived by this audience of old schoolers has split the fans. Your arguments can only logically conclude that anyone who enjoys the PT and feel's as well as see's its emotional and physical connection to the OT should not be considered a " true " fan. This can ( and will ) be perceived by many to be highly insulting and can be argued to the end of time.
    Lucas is correct in one aspect - every movie that was ever made that was marketed to a paying audience first and primary goal was to make a profit. Its how the system works. Its what PROGRESSES the system. Its also a convenient and easy way, and I'll grant you most of the time correct, for lovers of an original work to demonize its sequel ( I think we can agree, at least by the way your seeing it, that we are viewing the OT vs. PT, as two works, not six ). The creator of this art cannot be guilty of his vision, especially one that involves a history or pretense to his original art. I for one do not feel robbed or cheated by this prequl trilogy, which in fact was always in his mind to make however realistic or unrealistic it may have seemed for Lucas after his original trilogy.
  3. KÃ¥l Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2000
    This essay is nonsense. So Lucas is making the prequels purely for the money? I'm sure he could have rustled up Indy 4 a lot quicker if he was really desperate! It's highly inaccurate to say only "fanboys" supported the Special Editions. The grosses for these re-releases were incredible - they had huge mainstream appeal and were more successful than other re-releases from the same period (e.g. Grease, E.T.). Besides, it's the "fanboys" who moan about the changes, not the more casual viewers.

    Lucas is aiming the prequels purely at the fans, not general audiences - blatantly not true. He must have known the older fans who wanted darker Star Wars movies would not be keen on Jar Jar (I don't think he anticipated the vehement and over-the-top backlash against the character though). AOTC was the first Star Wars film not to be the top-grosser of the year, despite being generally considered superior to TPM. So is box office or fan appeal or critics' reactions an indicator of quality? Who's to say. Anyway, to say Lucas is making the prequels just for the moolah, and then to accuse him of aiming them at a more narrow audience is contradictory.
  4. NZPoe Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2001
    star 4
    Nicely written, but somewhat lacking in evidence to back up most of its claims.

    Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, R2-D2, C-3PO?.all these characters have the same names as they did in the original trilogy, all of them look the same, but somehow they?re just not hitting the same notes with the public as they used to.

    No evidence to back up this claim, especially when considering the staggering amount of prequel-based Star Wars merchendise still selling today, ESPECIALLY in the Under-13 year old market which reflects similar trends back in the 70's and 80's. Some numbers would be appreciated and would help the illustrate the point more clearly.

    It?s important for the thesis of this study that we put a quick end to the transparent lie that George Lucas is guided by some ?singular vision? of the Star Wars world. He?s not.

    Your tone is biased, your attitude is not academic and you have failed to define the term 'singular vision'. The fact that Lucas alone is the 'creative resource' of the Star Wars saga and, should he choose to, has finally sign-off rights on anything made in that universe can be described as having a "singular vision". If you don't define what you mean then it leaves too much room for people to misinterpret and debate it.

    Just to be sure, though, Lucas himself gave an accidental confession when, on the DVD audio commentary for Return of the Jedi, he talks about the unceremonious death of the character Boba Fett.

    This is good: here you're giving an example by what you mean through the term 'singular vision'. However you should, at the same time, prove that YOUR definition of a singular vision is more fitting, appropriate and correct in regards to when the term is used to describe Lucas's creative input. You have to make us believe that when people say that Lucas has a singular vision of the Star Wars saga they MEAN PRECISELY WHAT YOU ARE ILLUSTRATING. :)

    And, for the record, in my opinion they're NOT referring to that - but that's my own interpretation.

    He wanted to please the common man.

    The evidence you present is interesting, but it's also very highly interperative. Notice that you use Lucas's direct quotes for the prequel trilogy, but only provide interperative evidence to support your arguments for the OT.

    You also do not take into account the changing sociological climate of filmmaking compared between the late 70's and the late 90's. Because your evidence for the OT is interperative, one could just as easily infer Lucas's comments on the "changing audience of Star Wars" as him trying to adjust to the very different attitudes modern day audiences have compared to what audiences had 20 years ago.

    Ultimately you make it easy for other people to argue that Lucas was still trying to make a children's movie back in `77. In fact that was the name that studio execs referred to as revealed in the DVD documentary for the "OT" - Lucas's Children's Movie.

    Present more definitive evidence for a more robust argument.

    perhaps it was because he had grown so attached to wealth that he couldn?t dare to lose it, but for some reason George Lucas wasn?t going to take any chances with his new trilogy

    Can the angst dude. This is an essay, not a fanboy rant. Or is it?

    George Lucas told the common man to take a hike, because with this new trilogy he had a way to guarantee the financial success he needed. This guarantee was usually a male, usually between the ages of 12 and 24. He usually liked to play video games and he spent oodles of money on pop culture fads?.

    I agree with this point, but again you provide no evidence, just your interpretation.

    He was Fanboy, a heavy-spending, pop-culture-junkie who did not even exist when Star Wars was released in 1977.

    You're ignoring a crucial element here - Lucas has always been a proponent of merchandising. As stated in interviews and documentaries (including an admission directly from him in the SW Trilogy DVD documentary) Lucas negotiated to maintain the merchandising ri
  5. severian28 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2004
    star 5
    Thats great rebuttal, Poe - especially the stuff about comparing the film industry of the late seventies to that of the late nineties and the new millenia. Your absolutely right about that. Its almost two different industries and STILL the re-releases of the OT did smashingly well. That point alone destroys most factual validity to this essay. He correctly points out the " niche market " way that ALL films today are marketed, independent or not, but in doing that he sinks the rest of his essay. It IS well written, but ultimately wrong and somewhat flamish, IMO.

    EDIT: I DO agree about getting older and having a harder time focusing on a passion of mine since early childhood - but it doesnt stop me from trying the best I can to maintain what it is about me that should remain innocent and pure and SW is a HUGE part of that. But thats not a " common man " issue- thats an issue for EVERY man and woman on this planet - its called growing up. But ones heart and mind should always stay, at least in part, young.
  6. NZPoe Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2001
    star 4
    Its almost two different industries and STILL the re-releases of the OT did smashingly well.

    It's only my opinion but it's one that I hold fast to and is also what - for me personally - gives Lucas his motivation for creating "updated" versions of Star Wars. The audience has changed and his attempts to change the OT and make the whole thing a cohesive 6 part saga is in order to create greater appeal for today's audience and especially his target audience (then and now): children.

    I don't agree with some of the changes he's made and I think that the new versions contain just as much goofs and mistakes and sillyness as their original incarnations, but I do think that the new versions help people come to grips with them more and see them in a different context from what they've EVER been viewed at in the past.

    And ultimately as long as there are suckers like us willing to (gladly) hand over over cash to Uncle Lucas then he's gonna keep on trying to make modern, relevant cinema.

    I mean how on earth can people watch the Prequels and NOT draw similarities between what's happening on the screen and what's happening in our world today? If the OT was the antidote to the post-Vietnam cultural depression then the PT is definitely a cautionary warning on what's going to befall us in the future.

    The Flannelled-One, sometimes, can be a heck of a smart cookie.
  7. DBrennan3333 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2004
    star 4
    Hey, I know that all of the responses have taken issue with my subjective and non-academic tone, and they're right - the tone is bias.

    But the data is not, nor is the thesis.

    The reason that it didn't read like it was written by a professor is because I'm NOT a professor! I'm just a fan who was looking to mix my fan-hood with an honest analysis. Hopefully, college professors are doing something more substantive with their minds than I did with mine.

    Anyway, I have so far read only petty and frivolous counter-arguments, nothing that would change my mind for a second. (But thanks a lot for reading it!)




  8. Chaotic_Serenity Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 10, 2004
    star 4
    I could probably tear this essay apart on a good afternoon, but I think most of the other people here have done so fairly adequately. Needless to say, I'm rather unimpressed that this was the essay chosen to be first place, and, in no offense to the judges, makes me wonder if there was a personal bias behind the placement of this essay.

    At the very best, this is a piece riddled by factual information often twisted to fit the author's personal bias rather than to present and analyze facts objectively. At the worst, it's a piece full of thinly veiled insults toward people who disagree with the author's opinion. Sure, it has a great thesis. But unfortunately the author displays very little ability to separate his own personal passion for the subject from impersonal study, which is really what makes a great essay to begin with. I'd suggest that if the author wants to be received better in the future, he try to focus a little more on objectivity.


    But the data is not, nor is the thesis.

    A good portion of your data is able to be interpreted differently by various people, and some of your sources are just plain unreliable.


    The reason that it didn't read like it was written by a professor is because I'm NOT a professor! I'm just a fan who was looking to mix my fan-hood with an honest analysis. Hopefully, college professors are doing something more substantive with their minds than I did with mine.

    If an essay is placed in a contest based on the quality of the essay, then I sure as hell believe it should be written on a professional level. Had I delivered this kind of biased, fairly unsubstantiated work to my college professor, I assure you I would have failed the class.

    Or are you, as you're accusing Lucas, pandering to a specific audience with particular tastes that would win you credence in the running?


    Anyway, I have so far read only petty and frivolous counter-arguments, nothing that would change my mind for a second. (But thanks a lot for reading it!)


    Yay for you. Keep your opinions. That wasn't the point of our rebuttal. It still doesn't change the fact that this was a poorly constructed essay that I feel isn't worthy of first place. Well theorized, perhaps, but ultimately dissolving into a fanboy rant.
  9. DBrennan3333 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2004
    star 4
    Chaotic Serenity:

    Instead of just saying, "The essay sucks!" why don't you do what you claim the essay did not do and substantiate your claims.

    Of course you can't do this because the essay IS well researched and thorougly indisputable. It is not "my thesis" that the box office for the movies is steadily decaying....IT'S AN EMPIRICAL FACT! Nor is it "my bias" that the critics are simultaneously ripping the movies....IT'S A FACT!

    Hey, if you like AOTC, that's cool. Some people like spinach and some people like the music of "O-Town." There's nothing morally WRONG with being in the minority, but just acknowledge that you ARE in the minority (and then acknowledge that my essay is right).
  10. Chaotic_Serenity Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 10, 2004
    star 4
    My God, your arrogance is absolutely amazing. Really, you're giving me a great laugh here. That alone proves that I'm well enough correct in my assessment of your essay, which has nothing to do my dissent. My mission here is not to write a counter argument. It does, however, have everything to do with the fact I feel your essay could be very well written if it didn't fall into a common trap of most essay writers called "personal bias." I didn't write "your essay sucks," though I certainly could have saved alot of time doing as such. If you actually paid attention, you'd notice that I'd complimented once or twice that your thesis is well centered, just badly developed due to the way it's presented.

    I said that while your theory had credence and that I respectfully disagreed with it, the main problem with your essay is that it is utterly saturated with your personal bias at every turn. You do not bother to study factors contributing to the differences between the movies regarding the fan base nor the socio-cultural aspects on the two time periods in which the movies come out. The entire piece comes off as a fanboy rant because you absolutely refuse to recognize the opposite viewpoint. This is essential to making your writing open to a wide audience rather than one set of individuals who agree with you. So what if I like AOTC? That's my decision. It doesn't hamper my ability to agree with you as long as you're willing to recognize multiple voices in the fan base. But as you distinctly refuse to, you immediately lose half of your audience because, quite honestly, nobody gives a damn once it disentegrates into pointless rhetoric serving your own purpose rather than considering many contributing facets to a situation, especially when you spend a good portion of your essay making immature, slandering remarks at the people who disagree.

    But as you have proven yourself completely close-minded, not just in this essay, but in most of your dialogue on these forums, my critical review is more or less lost on you. Perhaps if you actually listened to constructive criticism rather than flaming the people who provide it, you might actually rise above the mediocrity you presented in this essay.
  11. DBrennan3333 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2004
    star 4
    Chaotic Serenity:

    I'm sorry, I didn't bother reading past the part where you admit you like AOTC.

    Hey, way to stand up for yourself and come out of the closet! There's no shame in being who you are! You go girl!
  12. Chaotic_Serenity Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 10, 2004
    star 4
    That's the best you can do? I offer professional critique, and you can only come back with an immature slam against my personal preference? That because of a difference of opinion, mine suddenly lose any validity? Are you for a rude awakening in the real world or what.

    You know the Fanboy you ranted about? You ARE fanboy, whining and crying about not getting your way when George Lucas decided to make the movies not pertaining to your tastes. Get the hell over yourself and lose the melodramatic angst. George Lucas did not rape your childhood by creating the prequels. Actually, I have no idea why the hell it deserves so much hatred in the first place. It's a movie. A MOVIE. Gain a little perspective. Save your passionate anger for, y'know, something REAL. You may think you're actually getting somewhere with your replies, but to me and most of the forum, you're coming off as painfully childish and, quite frankly, pathetic.
  13. Darth-Seldon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 6
    Congradulations on you win, the essay was well written.

    With that said you fail to recognize that
    The critics originally attacked both TESB and ROTJ, and so did some of these common men. In the audio commentary for TESB, Ben Burtt speaks of how TESB disappointed many viewers who thought it was okay. Opinions of these films change with the times and in the beginning, none of them can meet the high expectations. As time progresses, people look more kindly on these films. It can be argued that the intent of the films never truly changed, just the 'common' man's perception of them.

    As has been said, you took actual facts and quotes and added your own personal interpretation to them. I don't see that you really backed your thesis up, you simply gave your own thoughts on the matter. In terms of backing up the thesis, I feel you failed to do so. You grouped all humans into two groups, 'common' man and fanboy...this little system just dosen't work and is part of the reason why you failed to convey an accurate analysis of the thesis.

    -Seldon
  14. DBrennan3333 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2004
    star 4
    Chaotic Serenity:

    Look, your profile says you've posted 758 messages, okay? I took the time to look at them and, true to the M.O. you've presented on this thread, they all tended to be long-winded and pretentious. So basically you've spent, to be conservative, somewhere in the vicinity of four and a half hours (estimate three minutes per post) typing out your worthless drivel about that crappy movie, AOTC....and then you try to tell me not to take Star Wars so seriously.

    Ya know, I just wrote this paper with an honest heart in an honest effort to try and grasp how these two trilogies could feel so different. It was, I think, well reasoned and also, ya know, FELT out. I didn't just want to come to some intellectual point, I wanted to FEEL comfortable with my thesis, to have my intuition tell me I'm right.

    I'd gone like ten years without seeing the Star Wars movies then, on a lark, I rented the original trilogy on VHS (pan+scan, even the old boxes) and I just, like, couldn't believe how good they were. I was in awe.

    And I'd seen TPM and AOTC and they felt so pedestrian and SMALL and phony, so I just wanted to wrap my head around how the same man could make movies with the same characters and the same name....and yet have it feel so completely different.

    Right about that time I saw this essay contest and it seemed to fit perfectly. So I spent a few hours working on it, I won.....and now I've got a few people calling me names as the only responses. Yeesh. What a shallow win it feels like.

    So, I just don't know what to tell you. I'd really rather you not respond here anymore.


  15. Darth-Seldon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 6
    DBrennan3333: You were granted VIP status as a reward and given the chance to talk about your essay. I would suggest that it is best to respond in a friendly manner, addressing actual concerns and comments. Try to go above the bickering found in parts of this thread and to discuss the actual essay.
    It seems the least you can do, given the elevated status.

    -Seldon
  16. Ana_Labris Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2000
    star 4
    First off, even though the essay has a couple of valid points, I do not agree with most of it and the interpretation of some of the quotes.
    Second, DBrennan3333, I suggest you cut the personal insults and actually defend yourself, based on the points you made in your essay and the replies you got, not on the post count of a user. This has turned into a farse and I am even surprised you still have your VIP status.
  17. DBrennan3333 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2004
    star 4
    Thanks to everybody for taking the time to read it, absolutely.

    Sorry if I've been childish in my responses here, but, ya know, I just feel like I've been on the receiving end, too.

    I just wish somebody would offer actual acknowledgment of the thesis because I just really think that it's right. I did not "grow up" on Star Wars, heck, I wasn't even born when "Empire Strikes Back" was released and I was only two for ROTJ.

    But I think that those movies are really great and now they are being, not just associated with this new trilogy (which my younger brothers and their friends pay ZERO attention to), but the original trilogy is being whitewashed from memory. It is so far superior and yet it is being reduced to a kind of play-off of this God-awful new trilogy. And I just feel like that's kind of sad and I want to sit here and explain why the public liked the original but can't sit through the new one.

    I mean, I will never forget leaving the theater of AOTC and having the entire men's room - absolute strangers - collectively mock Star Wars, like they couldn't believe how bad the past two hours of their life was. And, once upon a time, the name "Star Wars" evoked grandness, not phony crap.

    Anyway.

    Sorry about the insults, I guess, and thanks a lot for reading the essay.
  18. Darth-Seldon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 6
    If rewarded with VIP status, you would think that you could at least defend your elevated status, rather then fall into a petty argument. There have been serious comments made about the essay which you have simply not responded to, at all. Is this someone who truly deserves the status, when they turn a thread into a circus without any valid response to the constructive criticism?

    Now one cannot simply argue that the thesis is valid because they strongly believe it to be so. There has to be some logical reasoning behind all of this. What a younger brother says about a film or what is being made fun of in a Men's Rest Room, is completely beside the point. These minor events in one person's life cannot accurately prove the point of the thesis.

    -Seldon
  19. Chaotic_Serenity Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 10, 2004
    star 4
    Y'know, I shouldn't even have to respond to this given that most of your replies speak for yourself, but alas...

    Look, your profile says you've posted 758 messages, okay? I took the time to look at them and, true to the M.O. you've presented on this thread, they all tended to be long-winded and pretentious.

    If by long-winded and prententious you mean I take the time to thoroughly analyze and intelligently respond to questions, sure.


    So basically you've spent, to be conservative, somewhere in the vicinity of four and a half hours (estimate three minutes per post) typing out your worthless drivel about that crappy movie, AOTC....and then you try to tell me not to take Star Wars so seriously.

    My worthless drivel on AOTC? First off, those 758 messages are spread over every single section on this message board. Yet again you sit here and attempt to twist the facts in order to reflect badly on others. (And perhaps you should mention your 20+ page topic on why you disliked the movie?) It's a message board. We gather here to talk about our opinions on a movie, which I do in my *free time* when I feel like doing so. If I psycho-analyze something, it's because I enjoy doing so as a recreative activity. Except, unlike you, I manage to separate fantasy from reality and keep my opinions relative to the topic at hands. I do not personally insult people who disagree with me or feel inclined to bash the creator of a series just because I didn't like what he created.

    I am not going to sit here and defend myself for liking a movie. Contrary to what you believe, the world does not revolve around your opinions. Simply because you do not like something does not mean other people's opinions are invalid. This is a lesson that is imperative to learn if you want to function in the real world and have people take you seriously.


    Ya know, I just wrote this paper with an honest heart in an honest effort to try and grasp how these two trilogies could feel so different. It was, I think, well reasoned and also, ya know, FELT out. I didn't just want to come to some intellectual point, I wanted to FEEL comfortable with my thesis, to have my intuition tell me I'm right.

    And you had an excellent thesis. I can recognize that even if I disagree. It was your presentation of their information and analysis that was your downfall.


    I'd gone like ten years without seeing the Star Wars movies then, on a lark, I rented the original trilogy on VHS (pan+scan, even the old boxes) and I just, like, couldn't believe how good they were. I was in awe.

    And I'd seen TPM and AOTC and they felt so pedestrian and SMALL and phony, so I just wanted to wrap my head around how the same man could make movies with the same characters and the same name....and yet have it feel so completely different.

    Right about that time I saw this essay contest and it seemed to fit perfectly. So I spent a few hours working on it, I won.....and now I've got a few people calling me names as the only responses. Yeesh. What a shallow win it feels like.


    And that's great, but if you want to analyze something, do it a constructive, objective manner. And if you win, don't expect everyone to fall to their knees in awe of your talent, especially on a subject as controversial as the one at hand. Simply because you "feel" some way doesn't make you right. People are going to disagree, and they are especially going to do so if you publish something publicly.

    I criticized this essay because I saw talent. You had a good thesis. I may not have completely agreed with everything you said, but you had a few valid points. But ultimately, by the time I got to the end of your essay, I had lost all respect for the argument due to the matter of presentation. So I offered critique. Perhaps I seemed harsh, if my first post was as such, I apologize. I've been writing for years and simply got used to criticism that I sometimes forget some are overly sensitive. But nothing that I said was meant to be personally insultive or anything less
  20. Darth-Seldon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 6
    Everyone has a right to reflect on this essay in this thread, I just hope everyone remains constructive. The fact that this is the winning essay, does not mean it does not have faults or that everything in it is correct. It simply means the judges feel it is the essay which meets the requirements, better than the competing essay.

    -Seldon
  21. -_-_-_-_-_- Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 28, 2002
    star 6
    This thread is meant as a forum to discuss and civilly critique the essay. Like anything else, it will receive criticism but please keep it as constructive as possible. Also refrain from using personal attacks and insults.
  22. NZPoe Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2001
    star 4
    Of course you can't do this because the essay IS well researched and thorougly indisputable. It is not "my thesis" that the box office for the movies is steadily decaying....IT'S AN EMPIRICAL FACT! Nor is it "my bias" that the critics are simultaneously ripping the movies....IT'S A FACT!

    Prove your empirical fact. I've provided rebuttal with reasoning that your sources are flawed. You say that the 'Phantom Menace' was the biggest box-office loser of the bunch and yet 'Phantom Menace' was the HIGHEST GROSSING MOVIE of that year! That means that more people went to see 'Phantom Menace' than any other movie made that year...how is that proof that the film was decaying at the box office?

    And where on Box Office Mojo did you get your statistical data from? I looked up Star Wars and here's what I found:

    Star Wars $307,263,857 5/25/1977

    Star Wars (Re-issue) $15,476,285 8/13/1982

    Star Wars (Special Edition) $138,257,865 1/31/1997

    Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace $431,088,301 5/19/1999

    Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones $302,191,252 5/16/2002

    Where did you get your $1.2 billion figure? I hope you didn't combine the original release, re-issue, special edition and video lifetime gross numbers together??? Because that's a complete distortion of real figures.

    There's nothing morally WRONG with being in the minority, but just acknowledge that you ARE in the minority (and then acknowledge that my essay is right).

    Post proof or retract.

    Anyway, I have so far read only petty and frivolous counter-arguments, nothing that would change my mind for a second. (But thanks a lot for reading it!)

    It was not my intention to change your mind, it was my intention to help you shape a better essay with less holes and bias. I've got nothing wrong with your thesis - it's a good one. But the essay, in MY opinion, is rather terrible and would not be accepted in the lowest academic circles. And although you've dismissed my arguments you've not bothered to tell me why they are invalid which I think is a little bit rude considering the amount of time people have put into critiquing your essay.

    So basically you've spent, to be conservative, somewhere in the vicinity of four and a half hours (estimate three minutes per post) typing out your worthless drivel about that crappy movie, AOTC....and then you try to tell me not to take Star Wars so seriously.

    Ouch man what's got your goat?

    I'd gone like ten years without seeing the Star Wars movies then, on a lark, I rented the original trilogy on VHS (pan+scan, even the old boxes) and I just, like, couldn't believe how good they were. I was in awe. And I'd seen TPM and AOTC and they felt so pedestrian and SMALL and phony,

    So that's your opinion. That's fine, what's wrong with that? There are hundreds of people here who don't agree. One of my best friends became a complete Star Wars nerd because of the prequel trilogy which she LOVES. She's not even going to see the OT till AFTER Episode III comes out.

    The fact that you're still remembering these movies from your childhood doesn't mean that you've got an unbiased opinion, even if you haven't watched the films for 10 years. Talk to someone who's never watched SW in their lives and then watched TPM and AOTC and THEN see what their opinion is.

    It was, I think, well reasoned and also, ya know, FELT out. I didn't just want to come to some intellectual point, I wanted to FEEL comfortable with my thesis, to have my intuition tell me I'm right.

    Then you've only grasped half of the point of writing a thesis or even an essay. What you've written is neither, it is an opinion-piece which is something completely different to a thesis or an essay, especially when the evidence provided is unreliable at best.

    and now I've got a few people calling me names as the only responses. Yeesh. What a shallow win it feels like.

    When did I call you names? Please quote me so I can apologize.

    I just wish somebody would
  23. Darth-Seldon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 6
    I can only concur with what Poe has said here. His reasoning and thoughts on this topic very similar to my own.
    I would also like to see where you got those box office stats.

    -Seldon
  24. severian28 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2004
    star 5
    The only part that invaldidates it for me is the fact that he defines " fanboy ", something I have never seen defined. Unfortunately in doing this he debunks and discredits almost EVERYTHING that hes presenting as fact.


    " yoy ARE a fanboy "

    I concur with this, but not in the insulting manner that its poster presents it. Im I the ONLY person who thought AotC was one of the better films of the Saga? If so then maybe Brennan is right. And that word - you know, Saga? As in all the movies as one story, as in the " Saga Forum " where the intellects of the films reside. This does not exist if one were to follow Brennans' essay to its logical conclusion, which by the way he never does and I'd wager knowingly that he never does this on purpose - which is WHY, Brennan, that every person that you have defined as " fanboy " as well as the numerous people like myself who are old enough to remember the OT in the theater AND thinks that the PT is on par will rail against you and a thread designed to banner your winnings will be locked. You presented absolutely NO intrinsic evidence of WHY you think the PT doesnt stack up to the OT. Youve given no substantial proof of what it actually is you are seeing in the PT that differs so dramatically from the OT. Your presenting numbers and market analaysis. That stuff could be blown up and no one would care because there is SO much of it that it always directly contradicts itself.


    And for the record, moderator or learned SW layman, can we get the official definition of a fan-boy. Or maybe we shouldnt, because by Brennans' defintion he himself falls within this age group. One who knows nothing but the home version of the film and was not a first hand witness to the hysteria.
  25. Darth-Seldon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 6
    There is no solid definition of fan boy which would be universal for everyone. I myself, think of it as any obsessive Star Wars fan. Really, all of us would fit into the general category. It is not an age group but a mind set.

    Anyway Brennan never provides examples of the differences between trilogies, he simply states facts and draws conclusions from them in a dogmatic sense.

    -Seldon
Moderators: Darth_Nub, Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn
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