Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Han Burgundy, Oct 5, 2013.
Hairless Mogwai, bro.
Don't feed Yoda after midnight!
There were consequences. He lost his wife, his best friend, twenty years with his children, spent twenty years as a slave and worst of all, he lost his own humanity. He was burned up and lost not only his limbs, but a good portion of his power. Anakin paid a steep price for his selfishness. The fact that Obi-wan and Yoda even bothered to do that for him, shows that there was no hard feelings on their part.
Lucas even said as much. That's why he didn't want to kill Han and Lando, when the subject came up. Nor did he want Luke to die, thus leaving Leia to restart the Jedi Order. Hell, in his first rough draft, Yoda and Obi-wan both returned to from the dead, as well as Anakin. He ultimately compromised by leaving the previous generation of Jedi dead.
PALPATINE: "I must be frank your majesty."
Course, according to Lucas, his name is Richard Nixon.
Remember when spies would try to describe the opera scene in ROTS? This is the scene where Palpatine talked about Darth Plageuis. They tried explaining and we tried envisioning just what the aquarium-like show would look like. Having seen the film many times, I still don't know what I'm looking at!
A large ball of water with Mon Calamari swimming and doing ballet type moves.
Yes we all know how it's described in the novels and books and descriptions, but there isn't a single person who could watch the movie and, without knowing any of those descriptions, say "look! a large ball of water with Mon Calamari swimming and doing ballet!"
(Queue the "actually I figured it out" comment......)
That's because the ballet wasn't important. The conversation was important. That's why there's no close ups regarding it.
Exactly. It's another one of those millions of intriguing background details that make us curious about the GFFA.
- Are you an angel?
- Eh, it's just a dead animal, Chewie.
If someone actually watches the movie on a sufficiently large screen, it's quite obvious that it's balls of water
( plural ) with beings, probably alien, swimming in and out of them. You just can't really tell they're supposed to be Mon Cals because they're thin and stretched out and don't look much like Ackbar.
I disagree with Lucas on the reason for the Prequels' necessity. ROTJ on its own fully validates Vader's redemption-it's all there in the former Sith Lord's demeanour; If there was any doubt that his move to kill Palpatine was anything else than a self-sacrifice for Luke accompanied by a realization that one must surrender himself to the light, his renewed conscience shows by his words 'You already have (saved me from the dark side)'. He goes from being a brutal control-freak killing machine to a man accepting his fate, from a murderer willing to either kill or corrupt his son to a man saving his son's life at the expense of his own, from a caged Sith Lord creating his own bars of will blockage/submission to Dark Side 'It's too late for me' to someone finally having the courage to look inward and taking steps to break from the Dark Side/Sidious/the old ingrained mentality that no one returns from the Dark Side and having a mind of his own. He chooses the what his right despite the odds and disadvantages, and the contrast between various Vader moments all the way through his ANH-ESB-ROTJ arc shows his ascension to the light=redemption through his son. There is no need to provide a backstory to render his Dark Side renouncement believable.
I do however argue that the Prequels are necessary for the completion of Star Wars themes. ROTJ showed us that regardless of your past crimes and how far you have fallen, you still have the power within you to change your ways and that you should do so as it is more rewarding(for your soul, even if there is no gain for you personally, and that anyway, your own gain should not factor in deciding whether or not to take the moral route). If the most morally lacking persons like Vader, who has killed so many from every age without remorse by ANH, can manage to re-activate his conscience, anyone can do so.
TPM-ROTS, in contrast, show us even the purest & entranced in light of all of us can still fall if they begin to become morally lazy or if put in the right circumstances. All shown well by Anakin, who was portrayed as a selfless, giving, unburdened boy born in most difficult circumstances-slavery in TPM. So light despite harsh upbringing. Fast forward to AOTC, and somehow, that same boy is displaying some serious failings-a certain self-centeredness that wasn't there before, anger, and most tellingly, a non-controlled temper that leads to the Tusken massacre. In the years between TPM and AOTC, Anakin has allowed himself to deteriorate significantly personality-wise, even if lots of qualities remain. Causes are left to imagination, but things are implied(Palpatine pouring shugar in Anakin's ear, Anakin's emotional disconnection with the Jedi, Anakin's self-sufficiency being taken to the extreme and turning to arrogance and pride, etc). No matter the circumstances, he has allowed himself to be darker.
AOTC-ROTS also goes in reverse in Anakin's arc by showing us Anakin's self-improvement. In ROTS, he is more at peace, humble, and accessing his conscience more readily(reluctance to execute a Sith like Dooku vs his merciless Tusken slaughter) Maybe having Padme in his life, bonding more strongly with Obi-Wan has helped. But, point is, Anakin has made a decision to improve after what could be thought as unredeemable in AOTC. He was going great, until he regressed mid-ROTS(again) on his own volition(with Palpy's help, of course). By allowing himself to fall on his destructive non-acceptance of life cycles patterns, he failed everyone and himself, and that once very-light TPM boy who had gone so far by ROTS was reduced to a murderer of children, merciless Sith that we see in the Originals.
Everyone has a breaking point, for progression and regression' sakes. The Star Wars saga, with great help from the Prequels, convey the theme of Choices Above Innateness perfectly. It doesn't matter what you were born into, at which stage you're at presently, you have the potential to create what you want out of you. And that little 'willpower lesson' also carries in the political story and through the Jedi story all through the saga. Originals show how to create your own light through the darkness, how to find hope & stick to your values in the gravest times. Prequels show you how your light can be corrupted, how well-meaning systems can stumble through their own rigidity, through exploitation, etc. The saga in both trilogies encourages unyielding faith in prevailing goodness, in the natural order of things(Yoda's failed message to Anakin, disastrous results to Anakin's attempts to control death, Force Ghosts in OT).
To sum up, there's a lot of thematic value that wouldn't be there in Star Wars if not for the PT. OT without PT to complete it is like a person trying to see without his glasses--there is a sense of a certain view, but it's blurry...vision simply isn't the same.
In one case he stands by and watches a military opperation, in the other he takes an active role and "swings the lightsaber" himself in a genocide.
Yes, I'm very well aware of this. The point was simply that I could not understand how people found Anakin irredeemable after watching the PT but not after seeing ANH.
No, he didn't issue the order to destroy Alderaan. But he did nothing to stop it and he directly helped Tarkin intimidate Leia as it was destroyed. He fully participated. He wasn't some menial, conscripted foot soldier who had no influence. This was a man who could choke senior officers with impunity. He's as responsible as any of the high-ranking Nazis were in Nuremberg. They might not have conceived of the horrific genocide, nor were they the soldiers carrying out the orders, but they were instrumental in supporting the regime.
That, to me, is at least as hideous as what Anakin does in ROTS.
Ordering the clone troopers to kill the children would not have made him less guilty, just even more cowardly than he already was. I hope that clarifies my position.
Dictators and senior officers are not less guilty than the foot soldiers they order to carry out the orders simply because they aren't the one's "taking an active role" and using the weapons themselves. That's my opinion, at least.
The reason it is harder to accept following the PT, is because we actually see him do what he did it. Well, not really see it, but we know that he did it. He admitted to killing women and children in the Tusken camp and we see him ignite his saber in front of the Younglings in the Council chambers. Obi-wan even says that none of children were alive in the Temple. Blowing up Aldreraan is different because we never saw the population. There was planet side point of view. No shot of women and children being threatened.
Killing children is a big no no in cinema which is why it is seldom done. The original "Assault On Precinct 13" had a young girl being killed and it raised a lot of complaints from critics, because it happened on screen and was not sugar coated by John Carpenter.
I get that, but I still find it morally inconsistent.
What I mean is, if I were Anakin and I were offered the opportunity to change my actions in either scenario, I would choose Alderaan in a heartbeat. Because while I may not have directly killed those people, had I made different choices that day, billions of lives could have been saved.
In either case there's no guarantee, of course. Anakin speaking up for Alderaan might not have saved the planet. But, then again, refusing to kill the children in the Jedi Temple might not have saved them either -- Palpatine may have just ordered Anakin killed along with them.
It's just that the destruction of Alderaan was so senseless. It accomplished nothing. I can at least see some kind of ****ed-up logic behind attacking the Jedi temple since it is functioning as a pseudo-military group by the end of ROTS. But Alderaan? Those people were civilians who died for a "demonstration" that could just as easily have been accomplished by targeting an uninhabited planet.
Anakin would rather change what he did by his own hand, than what someone did with the pressing of a few buttons and the throwing of a few levers. As to Alderaan, it is more effective if the planet is populated than uninhabited. It demonstrates that the Empire will take no **** off of the masses and that they're laying down the law. Which was more effective use of the atomic bomb? Deserted island or Japan?
To me, there's really no difference between using a switch or your bare hands to kill someone. You're still responsible either way. For example, I hold Palpatine just as responsible for the Jedi youngling's deaths, even though he didn't carry it out himself. Likewise with Alderaan. Also, I don't really see how the planet being populated makes the demonstration more effective. If the Death Star can destroy an uninhabited planet, it can just as easily destroy an inhabited one. The sudden presence of humans on the surface isn't going to protect anyone.
And the comparison with deserted island vs. Japan is flawed. The United States was at war with Japan at the time. A more apt comparison would be if, during the Red Scare, the US government nuked a town thought to contain communist sympathizers. I think you can see why this course of action would be counter-productive. It's one thing to attack an enemy nation -- quite another to turn a weapon on your own civilians, even if you do believe there are traitors among their ranks.
Nor is the atomic bomb comparison perfect as the United States had only a limited number of them (unlike the Death Star, which seems to have no limit in its destructive capacity). That doesn't make the use of atomic bombs moral, though, by any means -- but it's certainly more justified than slaughtering your own citizenry.
I think the difference between inhabited and uninhabited is showing the willingness to actually kill off an entire planet's worth of people.
If they destroy an uninhabited planet, there's still the "you don't have the guts to kill that many people" thought, however dubious. Actually doing it puts it beyond doubt.
It's the difference between a threat and carrying out that threat.
Of course. But consider the converse -- they destroyed Alderaan without so much as a warning. What's to say that other planets won't look at that and think of how arbitrary the Empire is, how there is no warning to people and how they might as well resist because it could be them that's destroyed next at the mere whim of a madman. You see what I mean? Yes, you have to show that you're willing to use a weapon for it to actually strike fear into people's hearts, but you also have to show that you can display some discretion. And targeting your own citizens is a sure way to force people off your side.
Ehhh it depends on your pov.
I agree with your strategic thinking, I've said what you just said many times, I was just pointing out the difference between inhabited and uninhabited.
Though I have to point out that Alderaan was seen as more than just sympathizers, but as active supporters and even participants. I mean, Leia is Alderaan's Senator and she's 100% a Rebel fighting the Empire, that's why Tarkin blows up Alderaan. "In a way, you have determined the choice of the planet that'll be destroyed first." There are many more where she came from, and a great deal of credits, ships, etc going to the Rebellion, too.
So Alderaan isn't really "one of us", at least from the Empire's pov, they're one of the Rebellion. The Death Star destroyed the enemy, and the threat is toward any others who would support the Rebellion. It's a Galactic Civil War, and any planet that is on the side of the Rebellion is an enemy nation. You're either with the North or the South, the Empire or the Rebellion.
From our pov Alderaan seems senseless, but maybe it doesn't from the Imperial pov.
My problem is that Leia was still an Imperial Senator. That indicates that Alderaan had not left the Empire and while those at the top (and indeed, perhaps even a majority of the population) were supporting the Rebellion, there was no declaration of hostilities between Alderaan and the Empire. That means that those individuals living on the planet who were loyal to the Empire did not have an opportunity to leave since Alderaan had never formally withdrawn.
In essence, I still think my example of the US nuking one of its own cities holds. Even when there are riots in such cities, you don't nuke it -- you send in the National Guard to restore order.
Truthfully, though, in the grand scheme of things, the logic of it doesn't matter so much. It's the morality that's the issue. You can make plenty of "logical" arguments for the killing of the Jedi, but that doesn't change the horror of their genocide.
My point of view is simply that I don't see why the killing of the Jedi engenders such rage in people while they seem to gloss over the destruction of Alderaan.
I can't really speak for anyone else, I thought he was irredeemable before the PT even came out, Alderaan, the torture and needless executions were enough for me.
I think sinister nailed it when he said we actually see it in the PT, we get faces put on it, while Alderaan is faceless. It's just an emotional reaction to identification, I don't think it's really a moral reaction. Personally I see the Jedi as Anakin's family and he completely betrayed them, so that plays a big part for me. Vader didn't have any connection to Alderaan whatsoever, it was killing strangers. Emotional, not moral.
I'll be blunt. I don't have a strong emotional reaction for Alderaan simply because I don't give a **** about Alderaan. Other than Leia and her connection to it (which you've pointed out her complete lack of reaction), I don't have any reason to care about Alderaan. I gave a **** about Obi-Wan, Yoda, Mace and the Jedi Order, so I had an emotional reaction when they were betrayed and destroyed by one of their own.
It's the same thing with real life. People are murdered all the time. There are even mass shootings quite often enough. I can't say I ever really give a **** about any of the victims, so I'm not emotionally affected, regardless of how immoral it is. Though that one where that young guy shot up those first graders or whatever, that probably felt sicker than the others. You know, the children and all. But if someone killed my mom? Yeah, I'd have a major emotional reaction. I wouldn't really care about the morality of it, even if it was in self-defense, I'd be devastated.
So...yeah. I guess emotion and morality don't always go together, at least not proportionally.
EUkant-B is Palpatine's first name.
Being a christian, this is a great way of looking at the redemption of Anakin. I think Anakin should be forgiven for his wrongdoings. Everyone makes mistakes, with or without valid reasoning. Everyone should have a chance to be forgiven, child murderers as well. If he's changed (which you can clearly tell he did) why not forgive him? Therefore, the redemption of Anakin is legit. Your post is awesome!