PT George Lucas, Post-ROTJ, states beautifully why the Prequels were necessary

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Han Burgundy, Oct 5, 2013.

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  1. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    Right, to you. Other people have different points of view with regards to culpability. One person would feel a direct involvement is more damning than just standing by and doing nothing.


    The Empire was at war with the Alliance and Alderaan was home to one of the founding members of the Alliance, who stole the Death Star plans. Destroying Alderaan was an attack on the enemy that threatened the peace and stability of the Empire. Had the Death Star not been destroyed, the Alliance would have been destroyed and the Empire would still rule today.

    Then those who question will be destroyed to until they get the message, the Empire is the government and they know what's best for you.
  2. sluggo1313. Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 23, 2013
    star 4

    Thats why. In one case he is a passive participant, in another he is an active one. In one case he looked at children while killing them, in another he watched a planet blow up, rather then people die
  3. JEDI-RISING Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 15, 2005
    star 3
    For me the most powerful part of ROTJ is when Vader is standing there watching Sidious fry Luke and suddenly it's got to occur to him that he did all those terrible things because Sidious was going to save Padme, and now Sidious is killing his son.
    So having the prequels give's that scene a lot more weight. Before it was a father saving his son, but now we know it was preservation of his family that started him down the dark path.
    Last edited by JEDI-RISING, Dec 2, 2013
  4. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4

    See, I can understand why ROTS would be more affecting on an emotional level. But on a moral/ethical level, I don't see why Anakin's actions in ROTS are more hideous than in ANH. Sure, it is viscerally more repellant to actually see the children that Anakin murders, but Alderaan was hardly an uninhabited planet. And Anakin by no means refused to participate in Tarkin's schemes.

    It's just too morally dissonant for me to say that Anakin's actions in ANH are redeemable but not in ROTS. Either they both are or they both aren't.

    Heck, I'd argue that ROTS is important precisely because we finally have innocent faces attached to Anakin's victims whereas this was sorely lacking in the OT. In that sense, the prequels were absolutely necessary.
  5. CT-867-5309 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2011
    star 5
    -shrugs-

    Leia, Han, Chewie, Luke, Lando, Captain Antilles, Captain Needa and Admiral Ozzel were innocent enough for me.
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  6. TOSCHESTATION Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2003
    star 4
    I agree with the above.

    That being said, where I DO draw a distinction between his Vader actions in the OT, and his 'Vaderkin' ROTS actions, particularly his killing of the Jedi children, comes down to the gratuitous and arbitrary nature of the latter. In terms of narrative, it comes out of left field, and I can't for the life of me figure out Anakin's mindset* of believing that this act would somehow make him "more powerful. Now, with the Death Star/Alderaan thing, I can at least see the pragmatic reasoning behind it; it doesn't just come out of nowhere.

    *all the while cognizant of the fact that no character 'mindset' was involved in the process; it was a plot-device, pure and simple
    Last edited by TOSCHESTATION, Dec 2, 2013
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  7. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    It's how the dark side works. It's how Bane saves himself from getting poisoned in the EU. It's not something that can be paralleled or understood in a real world context where there is no Force and thus no dark side.
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, Dec 2, 2013
  8. TOSCHESTATION Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2003
    star 4
    In other words, "the Wizard did it!!!"

    ......thanks, but no thanks.
    Last edited by TOSCHESTATION, Dec 2, 2013
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  9. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4

    See, weirdly, I'm the opposite. I can understand Anakin's actions in ROTS far more than in ANH. Of course, that's not to say they're more moral/ethical to any degree.

    In ANH, what kills me about the destruction of Alderaan is not just that it doesn't make sense from a moral/ethical point of view, but even from a mere tactical point of view. Why doesn't Anakin insist that they confirm the Rebel base's location before destroying Alderaan? That's what confounds me. Because as soon as they destroy it, they've lost any and all possible leverage against Leia. Furthermore, economically, it's nonsensical -- Alderaan is (by all appearances) a wealthy and prosperous planet. Even it's mineral resources would likely be worth something. So why destroy it? It accomplishes nothing. What's worse is that at the time of its destruction, Alderaan is still a member of the Empire -- as evidenced by Leia's status as a Senator. It's just so wasteful, on every level.

    For the Jedi children, I can at least see Anakin's logic, twisted as it is. Palpatine has ordered Anakin to kill every single Jedi (not surprising, given that the Jedi hunted the Sith to the brink of extinction that Palpatine would want revenge). So Anakin's not exactly going to have wiggle room with those orders. Additionally, if he wanted to go against Palpatine here, that would mean challenging the man directly and possibly getting killed. More importantly, though, is that Anakin -- with this temporary alliance with Palpatine -- stands to gain everything he's wanted.

    Once Anakin has killed the Jedi, he can go and end the war -- he is told where Nute Gunray and the Separatists leadership is and can also deactivate the droids. Not to mention that Anakin plans to kill Palpatine and take control of the Empire once he has learned how to save Padmé. In that context, I can understand -- in Anakin's mind -- how he can justify killing the Jedi. They have become a military organization and, as terrible as it is to kill the children, their deaths will serve the greater goal of ending the war and forming the Empire which will (in Anakin's mind) benefit the galaxy. Not to mention that Anakin can save Padmé. In that sense, I can see why Anakin chooses as he does -- by rationalizing that he is doing more good than harm.
  10. Slicer87 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2013
    star 1
    Since Anakin has become a Sith, all the Jedi, even the kids were a threat to his power. The younglings would someday (if allowed) grow up into Jedi knights that would fight him so Vader had to nip them in the bud. He also had to show his loyality to Palps and the Empire, this is why it makes sense. Once you remove all the threats to your power it makes you more powerful. That way he could have focused on saving Padme from death rather then keep fighting an endless civil war against the Jedi. Of course theirony is Padme still dies and civil war still breaks out.
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  11. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6

    That Laserdisc set is still my favorite SW OT collection. Still have it but my laserdisc pooped out. I have a burned DVD as a consolation.
    Last edited by ShaneP, Dec 2, 2013
  12. sluggo1313. Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 23, 2013
    star 4

    Its the same reason we consider someone who walks into a school with a gun a monster but someone who pushes button, because he was ordered too, which fires a missile, which kills some civilians/children hundreds of miles away.....not a monster. In one case a person makes a personal decision and takes personal action, in another the person is much more disconnected from the results of their actions even though those actions have the same or similar results.

    It wasn't about being more powerful, it was about exterminating the Jedi threat to him and Palpatine.


    You don't need leverage for torture to be effective. And Tarkin spells out the tatical reason for destroying Alderaan in the scene - Dantooine is to remote to demonstrate the power of the Death Star to the galaxy at large. They blow up Dantoonie and no one notices, which means it doesn't make the Death Star an effective tool to instill fear.
  13. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    What? No seriously…I don't follow your logic at all. So if Anakin had had access to missiles in ROTS and launched one at the Jedi Temple, you would consider him less evil than what happened in the film? That…does not compute to me. In the slightest. So you're basically saying that Hitler is less evil than a foot soldier who shoots a Jewish individual because Hitler was "removed" while the soldier is physically present. Honestly, I will strongly disagree with you there. The foot soldier has definitely committed an evil act, but I wouldn't say he's worse than Hitler.

    I hope you can see why I don't at all agree with your sense of morality. I could understand how one might have more lenient views against a conscripted soldier who is commanded to push a button that results in civilian deaths. But a high-ranking member of Imperial leadership? No, not at all.


    Except that Leia isn't affected by torture. Seriously…she shows no signs of trauma (mouthing off to Tarkin, completely in control of her emotions) and hasn't told Vader anything. They already tried torturing her by the time Alderaan rolls around. Why, then, wouldn't they bother to confirm her information before destroying the planet?

    Additionally, the "too remote" excuse is BS. You're seriously telling me that there's not an uninhabited planet somewhere closer? It's not like the presence of people on the surface makes a difference to the weapon's effectiveness here. What an utter waste. Not just the loss of life, but also the use of Alderaan as a bargaining chip, the economic potential of the planet, the material/mineral resources that could be extracted from it, etc.
  14. Darth_Downunder Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 5, 2001
    star 4
    The idea that Anakin was redeemed just for protecting his own son & killing Palpatine is ridiculous & arguably highly offensive. How many children did the guy murder? When you add up the Tusken kids & the Jedi children how many are we talking about? 20, 30, 50, 100? So what we have here is a mass child murderer, not to mention all of his other killings. So a mass murderer of children sacrifices himself to save HIS OWN SON, which may be noble but is also a partially selfish act. He didn't give a damn about the killing & suffering of other innocents who weren't his own blood. There are plenty of mass murderers & serial killers who love & protect their own family. Doesn't mean they aren't lowlife scumbags.

    None of these things bother me too much bcs Star Wars is a fantasy movie series & shouldn't be taken too seriously. But if you do seriously look at it then the concept that Anakin is redeemed at the end of RotJ & should be a happy Force ghost, at peace in the afterlife & readily accepted into Force heaven by Yoda & Ben is just plain wrong.

    Again, I don't think it should be taken this seriously, but when you think about it, if Star Wars is meant for children as GL says then maybe he has sent a very ugly & irresponsible message: you can commit the most horrible & violent acts in life but as long as you do 1 good act in the end then all is forgiven.
    Last edited by Darth_Downunder, Dec 3, 2013
  15. Count Yubnub Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 2012
    star 4
    It's pretty much the same in Christianity & most other religions, so I don't really see why this should be offensive to anyone.
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  16. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4

    I get that part of this is opinion based and depends on individual morality, but I don't really see how this is offensive. Yes Anakin does terrible things. But he's done terrible things since he first appeared onscreen in 1977. That's the nature of the character -- he's plays a villain. I also think you're looking at this from a very narrow perspective. I don't think Lucas is trying to say that "you can commit the most horrible & violent acts in life but as long as you do one good act in the end then all is forgiven." He's saying that it's never too late to turn your life around. That you have to live with the choices you've made, but that doesn't prevent you from making a better choice today. Your past actions don't have to dictate your future ones. If you've been scum all your life, that's not an excuse to say it's "too late" and not make an effort to be better. And, yes, oftentimes that will require sacrifice.

    Also, I think Lucas makes it pretty clear that Anakin does suffer for his choices. The man loses everyone he loves, is burned alive, on life support, and under the heel of a man he hates for over twenty years as a result of his choices. In that sense, it's exceedingly moralistic in that it shows that evil actions have consequences. In large part, Anakin's belief that he can't change that he "must obey his master" is the deflection he uses for much of his life. He himself believes it is too late. It is only when Luke has faith in him that his own belief is restored.

    And the galaxy is better for it.
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  17. Merkual Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 4
    I don't think Lucas is trying to say that "you can commit the most horrible & violent acts in life but as long as you do one good act in the end then all is forgiven." He's saying that it's never too late to turn your life around.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    This.

    It's a depressing thought that if you **** up that's it, doomed forever and would say that isn't the right message to sends to kids. In fact might send most suicidal.
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  18. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    Honestly, whether Yoda and Ben forgive Anakin is their business. Other people in the GFFA probably wouldn't, and if Anakin had survived and had been put on trial for his crimes, he undoubtedly would have been convicted. I don't think the message at the end of ROTJ is that everything Vader did suddenly became acceptable, just that, as PiettsHat said, it is never too late to turn your life around.
  19. Darth_Downunder Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 5, 2001
    star 4
    So no matter what atrocities you commit, even the massacre of dozens of children, 1 selfless act wipes it all clean & you're redeemed? You don't see why this would be offensive? What if you were the parent of some of those children? How would you react to people saying the guy was redeemed just for saving his own son???
  20. Darth_Downunder Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 5, 2001
    star 4
    There's "screwing up" & then there's murdering dozens & dozens of children on two separate occasions. Surely some atrocities can't be made up for. This would be like Hitler in his final minutes saving the life of his own wife. "Ok great Hitler that was nice but now kindly die & burn in hell" would be most people's response.
  21. Count Yubnub Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 2012
    star 4
    Yes.

    No.

    Ask a Christian (or any other religious person). I'm not religious. But I'm sure you'll be able to find news reports about people who believe that some murderer will go to "heaven" because he repented on death row, or something along those lines.

    Honestly, if you think that stuff is offensive, it sounds like you ought to be fighting bigger fish, rather than a mere children's fantasy movie.
  22. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4

    But your position makes certain presumptions. Either:

    1. Anakin is completely irredeemable. There's no way for him to ever return to the light. He's simply fallen much too far to ever come back. Which, in and of itself, can be a pretty terrible message because it means that there is a point of despair. A point where it no longer matters what you do or how hard you try. And that, I would argue, is a rather destructive notion.

    OR

    2. Anakin didn't do enough to earn his redemption. This is problematic because Anakin's redemption was brought about by Luke's faith. He didn't believe he could turn back until Luke's belief in him gave him the strength. And doing the right thing cost him his life. So there was no time to do more -- he did the most he could in the time he was allotted, once he'd finally accepted what it would cost him --> his life and the admittance of his wrongdoing.

    If you're saying he should have done more, though, then you're attributing redemption to making amends. Which is different, I believe. I have to tell you, if someone killed my child, I don't think I could ever, ever forgive them. They could regret it with every fiber of their being. They could save the lives of a million other children. But I don't know that I could, emotionally, get over the fact that they had killed my child. And I think it's wrong to suggest that parents who have suffered such a wound should be beholden to forgive simply because the perpetrator has turned over a new leaf and done good. The other children are alive thanks to the perpetrator, but their child is still dead. And no amount of regret or other children saved will bring them back.

    Personally, I separate the concept of redemption and forgiveness. I think that Anakin can be redeemed without the galaxy forgiving him. And both are correct responses.
  23. Darth_Downunder Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 5, 2001
    star 4
    Fair enough but you could argue that the way Anakin's ghost is presented, all happy & smiling & next to his old buddies, with his son laughing along with him that it kind of sends an "all is forgiven" message. It's an individual interpretation of the scene, I get that. But I do think that this could be one reasonable interpretation of it. If this wasn't just pop entertainment & something to take more seriously then the way this was presented could be pretty offensive. Far more so if the prequels were made first & all of the child murdering was already shown by the time RotJ was viewed originally.

    Is this really an unreasonable point?
  24. Darth_Downunder Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 5, 2001
    star 4
    I already qualified that bcs this is a fantasy movie these serious interpretations don't really apply. I'm talking hypothetically & taking it seriously just for the purpose of debate.

    Christian dogma isn't the be all & end all of morality. You're quoting it as if it is. It is merely one religion & 1 point of view among thousands.
  25. Darth_Downunder Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 5, 2001
    star 4
    I agree with most of your points. I'm saying though that (if you were taking the SW saga seriously) the way it was presented at the end of RotJ, with Anakin's ghost all happy & smiling & next to his old buddies & with his son laughing along with them, could be considered quite poor & a bit rich for the ghost of a mass child killer who just saved his own son. Of course in 1983 we hadn't seen all of his child murdering history. Who knows if they would've presented this scene differently if we had.
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