Saga If introducing someone new to SW. Which trilogy would you have them watch first?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Jcuk, Mar 31, 2013.

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  1. oierem Jedi Grand Master

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    Mar 18, 2009
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    But it was based on the scripts for the movie, and came out just a few weeks earlier than the film, as they usually do, to promote the film itself.
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  2. Force Smuggler Chosen One

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    Sep 2, 2012
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    Looking on Wikipedia the novel came out November 1976 and the movie came out May 1977. Just trying to be a smart mouth.
  3. oierem Jedi Grand Master

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    Mar 18, 2009
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    lol, I was thinking "was it a few months before te film or just a few weeks?" I guess it came out several weeks before the movie then ;)

    In any case, it was obviously based on the script.
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  4. DRush76 Force Ghost

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    Jan 25, 2008
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    I would allow that person to make his or her own choice. A person could easily watch either trilogy first.
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  5. Jcuk Force Ghost

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    Mar 16, 2013
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    The OT was the adventures of Luke Sywalker.
  6. CaptainHamYoyo Jedi Grand Master

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    Aug 18, 2011
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    I say OT then PT.


    As far as ruining the surprise of Palpatine being Darth Sideous... You never hear the name Palpatine in the OT movies. He's just called The Emperor. So I think the surprise will still be intact if the OT is viewed first.
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  7. Jarren_Lee-Saber Force Ghost

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    Apr 16, 2008
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    I will always show them I-II-III-IV-V-VI as Lucas intended.

    I'm doing it to my girlfriend right now. She saw The Phantom Menace on Tuesday and absolutely loved it, begging to see the rest of the Saga. She'll get Attack of the Clones tonight.
  8. Obi-Wan21 Force Ghost

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    Aug 27, 2002
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    For an appreciation of the Prequel Trilogy, I strongly believe viewing the films in; 4-5-6-1-2-3 is the best set for a new viewer. It's how I intend to introduce the films to my daughter, it's simply the stronger sequence. The original films have amazing revelations that everyone deserves to witness, while watching it in chronological order destroys a number of those revelations. Plus, I don't feel the arc of Anakin Skywalker is the stronger of the arcs in these films if viewed in numerical order.

    The Prequels are improved by watching the Originals first, the anticipation, knowing what will befall these characters, the emotional attachment of the viewer is stronger because of the grasp they have on the "history" of the events.
  9. darth_mccartney Force Ghost

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  10. _Catherine_ Chosen One

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    Jun 16, 2007
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    The story is structured to be experienced non-linearly. The PT assumes that the viewer has already seen the OT. It introduces the Jedi and the Force with no explanation of what they are, because they were already explained in the OT. The PT actually adds to that pre-existing explanation by throwing midichlorians into the mix. They're never mentioned in the OT, so finding out what midichlorians are before you even know what the Force is makes no sense.

    Luke's father, Yoda's identity, Luke and Leia's relationship, and the Emperor's true power are clearly presented as plot twists or unexpected developments. If the viewer was meant to know those things before they're revealed in the OT, the story wouldn't be structured to keep them a secret. The PT doesn't offer any twists to replace these, or at least none that would be spoiled by watching the OT first. Palpatine's double identity isn't even treated like a real mystery; there's no moment of revelation, he just says "oh btw I'm also Sidious." Watching the PT first takes all the surprises out of the series, and while being surprised was never integral to the story, it did make it a lot more fun.

    A prequel is just a sequel that takes place chronologically before the previous story but is told after it. It relies on the viewer's familiarity with that first story to contextualize itself. X-Men Origins: Wolverine takes place before the other X-Men movies, but a major part of the first two films is the mystery surrounding Wolverine's history and amnesia, which becomes completely pointless if you've already seen Origins. Clearly it wasn't made to be watched first. Neither was The Magician's Nephew meant to be read before The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, because the latter was written to introduce readers to Narnia for the first time, while the former assumes you are already familiar with it (and says so directly in the text). The fact that Lucas and C. S. Lewis both later endorsed chronological order over publication order for their respective series doesn't change the fact that the stories themselves weren't written to be experienced that way.
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  11. VanishingReality Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 21, 2013
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    I think that the reason the it is called 'the prequel trilogy'- is because it is meant to be supplemental, just like any prequel, and you're supposed to watch the OT first. I saw the PT first, it's just like the above poster said, while I still love the OT a lot, it's true that none of the plot twists came as any actual surprise. But to be fair, thanks to pop culture, it's pretty easy to be 'spoiled' as to who Yoda, Vader, Leia and Sidious are.

    The midiclorians made sense to me, but I think it's pretty self-explanatory what the force is. Psychic powers only awesome ppl can use. You don't need that much of a back-story on it.
  12. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper and Rumor Naysayer

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    There is a sizeable potion of the populace that is unfamiliar with the saga. They're known as "children."

    My six year old has never seen any of the movies, but she's watched TCW with her older brother and me. So she's used to seeing Anakin as a hero. We started watching the OT, and I explained that Luke is Anakin & Padme's son. She got a little upset when Obi-Wan bought it, but was relieved that he came back as a friendly ghost.

    She actually teared up a little at the "Bespin Reveal."

    My wife and I are divided on where to go next. She thinks we should watch RoTJ, I think we should watch the PT and then watch RotJ.
  13. Jango_Fett21 Force Ghost

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    Apr 9, 2002
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    There's already another thread that basically covers this same topic.

    Anyway, I'm a big proponent of watching the Saga in chronological order if you're going to introduce someone to it. The 'surprise' of Vader being Luke's father was initially treated as a much bigger deal than it actually is simply as a storytelling device, and one that has long since ceased to be relevant, and Lucas has gone on record stating that the series should be experienced chronologically if at all possible.
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  14. Frank T. Force Ghost

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    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    What I recommend to SW virgins is to watch Star Wars then Empire then decide for yourself what you wanna watch next.
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  15. Force Smuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    At the moment I like to think the PT is a flashback sequence of Obi-Wan's on Dagobah in ROTJ.
    It depends on how much the the OT characters are used that I might change my mind to 1-9.
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  16. Alexrd Force Ghost

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    Jul 7, 2009
    star 5
    Actually the PT explains who the Jedi are, but otherwise I agree with the rest.
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  17. Visivious Drakarn Jedi Grand Master

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    Apr 20, 2013
    star 2
    Very interesting and it makes sense, but the whole saga is not about the Force, it's not about plot twists, surprises. These things are additions to the movies who are (for now) structured to be a story of Anakin, his rise, fall and redemption. If you're watching the saga OT-PT for the first time, you'll be surprised, but you'll miss the artist's intention.
    But, in a way, I'll agree. OT-PT makes sense. Mostly only for the first time.
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  18. Darth Dnej Jedi Master

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    Apr 27, 2013
    star 1
    The Original Trilogy first for sure. In fact, more specifically, the theatrical versions of the OT. Then after that if the new viewer wants to bother with the Prequels they can give it a shot.
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  19. CaptainHamYoyo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2011
    star 2
    The term "artist's intention" always bugs me. His intention was to tell a story that crossed Hidden Fortress and Flash Gordon, which was "Episode IV". Luke was his Flash, Vader was his Ming.

    As he developed Episodes 5 & 6, the PT was the backstory to the OT, "if he ever gets around to it"

    As he was developing 1-3, he changed his tune, where 1-6 was always intended to be about Anakin Skywalker(though the OT was obviously about Luke).

    I'm willing to bet as 7-9 continues to develop, and I have no doubt Lucas will continue to provide creative input past his treatments. He'll probably change his claim, and 1-9 was always his intent, and to be about the Skywalker family(not just the Anakin Saga as it currently is).

    So to me, the artist's real intent is the way he released the movies: 4-6, 1-3, 7-9, and that's how I believe first-time viewers should experience it
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  20. _Catherine_ Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2007
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    I like your username, it sounds like a monster from Loompa Land. I don't understand this idea of artistic intent, though. Shouldn't Lucas have warned us back in the '70s not to watch any of his movies until the prequels were done? I feel like the overwhelming majority of people who ever saw the OT probably first saw it in the twenty-eight years between 1977 and 2005, not in the eight years since then. Couldn't Lucas have given them a heads-up that they were doing it wrong? They probably would have saved a lot of money over the decades if they'd just waited for the Blu-ray release.

    I also don't understand how the whole story is about Anakin if he's really only the main character in ROTS. AOTC focuses on him and Obi-Wan about equally, I think. In the other four films he's a supporting character at best, and his role in ANH and TPM is comparatively minor even then. I would say the PT is about Anakin's fall to darkness and the OT is about Luke's rise to greatness; it doesn't make sense to me to claim all six movies are about Anakin. If I were watching Star Wars for the first time in chronological order I'd wonder why halfway through Anakin suddenly became a supporting character in his own story.

    It's not just about surprises, it's about the overarching story structure. Obi-Wan introduces the basic concept of the Force in ANH, Yoda elaborates on it and explains the difference between the light side and dark side in ESB, Palpatine reveals the true power of the dark side in ROTJ, Qui-Gon further expands on how the Jedi are able to know the will of the Force in TPM, and in ROTS Palpatine reveals the ultimate application of the Force: the ability to create life. It's a process of gradually expanding revelation and explanation. Seeing Palpatine shoot lightning out of his hands for the first time in ROTJ is a big moment because we've never seen the Force used in such a way before; mostly we've just seen basic uses of telepathy and telekinesis. In AOTC, Dooku just casts it out like it's nothing. There's no moment of awe; it happens too abruptly, there's no buildup to it, and then immediately afterward Obi-Wan blocks it with his lightsaber without breaking a sweat. This isn't a problem if you've already seen ROTJ, but if you're watching in chronological order, nothing happens that you haven't see before, and you know that Luke could just pick up his lightsaber and deflect it. Palpatine's slow, deliberate speech and the sudden dramatic swell of music indicate a buildup to something revelatory: this seemingly weak and frail old man can conjure lightning from his fingertips. It's like a dark mirror to the Yoda reveal in ESB. But if you've already seen the prequels, you already know how powerful the Emperor is and that that small green frog creature is a Jedi Master.

    The PT builds on the foundation laid by the OT: Force powers get more extensive, lightsaber battles get flashier and more intense, alien designs get more elaborate, lightsaber designs get more varied, the lines of morality get murkier, even the scale of the story gets bigger and more encompassing. Watching the PT first, you go from these huge CGI space battles and galactic politics and all these exotic worlds and aliens to these small claustrophobic sets and very slow, very talky lightsaber duels and stop-motion and aliens that just look like people wearing Halloween masks and a story where all you need to know about morality is that the Empire is evil and the Rebels are good, because it's all about Luke's hero's journey and galactic politics barely come into play at all. It's a reduction of scale instead of an escalation.

    It also makes Obi-Wan a lot more unlikable right off the bat because every other thing he says is a lie for no reason ("Your father wanted you to have this when you were old enough," "He didn't hold with your father's ideals. He thought he should have stayed here and not gotten involved," "He feared you might follow old Obi-Wan on some damn fool idealistic crusade like your father did," "For over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic," "There you will learn from Yoda, the Jedi Master who instructed me," "Was I any different when you taught me?," "I don't seem to recall ever owning a droid," "He betrayed and murdered your father," "When I first met him, your father was already a great pilot. But I was amazed how strongly the Force was with him. I took it upon myself to train him as a Jedi," "And he was a good friend").
  21. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    @_Catherine_

    I disagree very strongly about watching the OT first making Obi-Wan a more likable character. In fact, I would imagine that the only reason I didn't dislike his character in those films when I first watched the OT was because I had the PT to provide context. Without the PT, ROTJ would just leave a terrible taste in my mouth. I would have liked Obi-Wan fine in ANH and ESB, but the fact that all of his lies would have come to nothing -- that he would have faced no consequences for them in ROTJ, would have really stuck in my craw.

    With the PT, I can understand and sympathize with why Obi-Wan is lying to Luke. You see his emotional journey and so I think it's easier (or at least it was for me) to reconcile the fact that he's being deceptive with him being a good person. With just the OT, Obi-Wan basically gets off scot-free for manipulating and lying to Luke over and over again and the implications of what he did are never really explored.

    To be honest, were it not for that fact, Obi-Wan might very well be my favorite character in the Saga, but his actions not getting called out as wrong in the OT have always held him back from that top spot for me.
  22. Visivious Drakarn Jedi Grand Master

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    Apr 20, 2013
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    Lucas changes his mind all the time. OT was the story of Luke, OT with PT is a story of Anakin and in ten years time it'll be a Skywakler family story.

    Well, for me, it doesn't matter if he's a supporting character. After the PT, there are still three chapters of his story to tell. First he gets his revenge to Kenobi, then he goes so dark that he even wants to turn his son to the dark side and finally, his redemption. And by watching prequels first, it doesn't feel that he's actually a supporting character.
  23. hear+soul Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2004
    star 6
    V, II, I, VI, IV, III, V

    edit: *realizes he did not follow instructions*

    I'd have them watch the awesome trilogy:

    III, V, VI

    But, at this point, I'd go with PT, because I haven't ever met anyone who saw the PT first and then the OT, so I think I would do that just to see what they thought....... :p that's kind of cruel, but eh- it's just movies.

    B/c I think part of the reason the prequels are hated on so much is because of the comparison and our expectations, so it'd be fun to see someone not have those from which to judge them. And then see what they thought of where the OT took the PT story-line!!
    Last edited by Darth_Deception, May 4, 2013
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  24. Jango_Fett21 Force Ghost

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    Apr 9, 2002
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    The Prequels are not as reviled as perception would lead one to believe.
  25. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Kind of hard to use the above as proof of "every other thing he says is a lie for no reason", given that there's only one lie in there: "He betrayed and murdered your father." The rest of it is true or not provably false. And it would be patently absurd to claim that lie was "for no reason". Especially given that the reason was spelled out explicitly in ROTJ.

    ( And it's knew, not met. )

    Is this meant to imply that ROTJ alone, or seen prior to the PT, creates a different impression? ROTJ hardly indicates that one cannot use a lightsaber to deflect lightning, given that Luke had already thrown his lightsaber away before the lightning attack. Zahn, for example, had a lightsaber deflect lightning, and he had only the OT to go on.
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, May 5, 2013
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